To uphold President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s agenda of inclusive and sustainable growth, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has increased the proposed budget for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) from P44 billion this year to P62.6 billion in 2014, supporting the administration’s bid to expand the 4Ps program and lower the dropout rate among the country’s poorest high school students.
The budget for 4Ps—also known as the Administration’s Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program—is part of the P78.7-billion budget under the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for 2014, as presented to Congress in July this year.
“Under the 4Ps, the DSWD provides cash subsidies to the country’s poorest families, with the condition that each beneficiary-household avails of maternal and child health care services and keeps their children in school. We’ve noted, however, that while this has helped boost enrollment levels in our public elementary schools, the dropout rate in our public high schools is still fairly high.
“The expansion of the CCT program is designed to give financial support to in-need high school students, so they’re encouraged to keep at their secondary-school education under the K-12 system and receive their high-school diplomas,” Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad said.
Of the total 4Ps budget proposed for 2014, P48.3 billion will support the regular CCT program, accounting for 4.3 million of the poorest households nationwide, with up to P1,400 allotted for each family. This includes a monthly P500-subsidy for parents and children to avail of health care services, as well as P300 for each child aged 6-14 for attending at least 85 percent of their classes. The regular CCT program can support up to three children per household.
The total 4Ps budget, however, also supports the Expanded CCT program with another P12.3 billion. This will cover around 10.2 million children aged 15-18—also belonging to the 4.3 million households under regular CCT—with a P500 monthly cash grant to support them until they finish high school.
Meanwhile, another P2 billion under the proposed 4Ps budget will support the Modified CCT program, which will be used to benefit 7,007 homeless street families nationwide, as well as 8,956 itinerant indigenous-people families in urban areas—those without permanent homes and who live from place to place—in addition to 116,000 indigenous-people families across the country.
As of June 2013, the CCT has been implemented in all 1,627 cities and municipalities in 79 provinces in all 17 regions. There are 3,927,917 million registered households in the program, with 1.6 million from Luzon, 1.4 from Mindanao, and 801,293 from Visayas.
“Without a high school diploma, the job prospects of our youth are severely limited, and this alone is a huge setback for families that are working their way out of poverty. By expanding the CCT, we can help our youth tap into more employment opportunities that will allow them to support themselves and their families in the long-run.
“From a broader perspective, the expanded CCT program is also the Administration’s own strategic investment in the country’s human capital, so that the poorest of Filipinos are empowered to take control of their socio-economic conditions and become active contributors to the country’s growth,” Abad said. PNA