MARAWI CITY: Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) executives are making the rounds of the five provinces in the region to re-validate reported anomalies in the implementation of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
ARMM Executive Secretary Laisa Alamia, regional DSWD secretary, heads a team with other executives that is meeting mayors, barangay (village) chairmen and social welfare employees in the five provinces to talk about the drive to eradicate years-old irregularities in the national flagship program 4Ps.
They started with an LGU Assembly on Social Welfare Protection held in Sulu early in February, then in Maguindanao at the Army’s Camp Siongco in Datu Odin Sinsuat on February 28 and recently in Marawi City at the Provincial Capitol of Lanao del Sur on Friday. Assemblies in the two remaining provinces will follow in the next few days.
“Our target is to re-validate the list of 4Ps beneficiaries before submitting the final report to the DSWD national office,” Alamia said.
There are 415,389 ARMM households registered as 4Ps beneficiaries. Of this number 160,972 are in Maguindanao; 93,734 in Sulu; 93,051in Lanao del Sur; 36,139 in Tawi-Tawi; and 31,439 in Basilan.
Forty percent of the total beneficiaries are “legitimate,” according to a regional DWSD report.
Alamia said there were also instances when poor households only received P500 out of the normal payment of P1,400 cash after withdrawals from automated teller machines.
She said they have asked the DSWD national office to suspend release of 4Ps subsidies in ARMM until the re-validation process is completed.
“We are giving unscrupulous beneficiaries a two-month waiver for them to surrender their 4Ps cards,” Alamia said.
After the grace period, she said, the military as martial law enforcer in Mindanao, will step in to arrest the erring parties. Arrested persons will be prosecuted to the full extent of law, she added.
She clarified that the data provided to them was based on reports from the “intelligence community” of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Maj. Gen. Arnel Dela Vega, Army’s 6ID commander, attended the event in Maguindanao, while Joint Task Force Ranao Deputy Commander Col. Romeo Browner Jr. and Lt. Col. Joel Mamon of the Western Mindanao Command’s U7 joined the assembly in Marawi City and reiterated their support to the cleansing drive.