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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

House leader supports more funds for 4Ps

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House Assistant Majority Leader and Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Raul Angelo Bongalon on Tuesday supported the proposal to pass a supplemental budget to address the P9-billion deficit in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) that resulted from the P13-billion
slash made by Senator Imee Marcos in the program’s 2023 funding.

Bongalon said he is backing Deputy Speaker and Quezon Rep. David Suarez’s proposal to bridge the gap in the 4Ps that has left 843,000 families or four million poor Filipinos without allocation in the program.

“I strongly support this proposal to address the P9-billion deficit in the 4Ps. Batas po itong 4Ps, and we are mandated to fund its implementation. This will give justice to 4Ps beneficiaries who have been deprived of financial aid because of the deficit and the budget
cut,” Bongalon said.

It was Bongalon who first accused Sen. Marcos of being behind the
budget realignment of P13 billion from the 4Ps in the 2023 national
budget when she was head of the Senate finance sub-committee in charge of budget of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

“The longer the deficit stays, the more we deprive these 4 million
poor Filipinos of a fighting chance to triumph over poverty. This
program is meant to help poor Filipinos for a certain number of years, to help them in their daily needs and sending their children to
school,” Bongalon expressed.

If there is a gap in the grant of 4Ps funding to poor Filipino
families, Bongalon continued, the objective of the law is not realized
and it will fail to reduce the poverty incidence in the country.

He made reference to Republic Act (RA) 11310 or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) Act and said this law’s objective is to reduce poverty incidence in the country.

“Imagine a family na nakakatanggap ng 4Ps tapos biglang nawalan noong 2023 at 2024 dahil sa deficit. Paano na ang mga anak nilang nag-aaral? Titigil ba sila dahil walang pondo para sa kanila? Hindi tumitigil ang gastos at pangangailangan ng ating kababayan, kaya dapat natin itong lutasin,” the lawmaker from Bicol said.

(Imagine a family that receives 4Ps and then suddenly loses it in 2023 and 2024 due to the deficit. How will their children study? Will they stop because there is no money to support their schooling? The cost and needs of our countrymen do not stop, so we must solve it)

Earlier, Suarez said he proposed that the House of Representatives
pass a supplemental budget to address the P9-billion deficit created
by Sen. Marcos’ realignment of the 4Ps budget in 2023.

He described the said realignment in last week’s hearing of the House Committees on Public Accounts and Social Services on the privilege speech delivered by 4Ps Partylist Rep. JC Abalos as akin to stealing from poor Filipino families.

In last week’s hearing of the House Committees on Public Accounts and Social Services on the privilege speech delivered by 4Ps Partylist
Rep. JC Abalos on the said realignment, the Department of Social
Welfare and Development (DSWD) confirmed the existence of the
P9-billion deficit.

Also, DSWD Sec. Rex Gatchalian made a confirmation on Sen. Marcos’ realignment of P13 billion in 2023 that was supposed to be for the 4Ps but was given to programs such as CALAHISIDS, AICS, quick response to calamities.

Suarez said that when the 2023 national budget was approved in the
House of Representatives, the 4Ps funding was complete and intact.

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