Pantawid program resumes in Maguindanao after delays

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COTABATO CITY, Maguindanao: The Department of Social Welfare and Development in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DSWD-ARMM) resumed recently the distribution of cash grants to beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in Maguindanao after several months of delay.

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“The delay of the payment of grants for unpaid periods started when conduit Globe Exchange Inc. [GXI] failed to replenish the fund from the previous payouts to its merchant partner Loaded Marketing,” said Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Secretary Rahima Datumanong Alba of DSWD-ARMM.

She said that before the suspension of the payout in October 2015, the DSWD, through conduits GXI and Loaded Marketing, was paying Period 5 (September-October) and Period 6 (November-December) of 2014 as well as unpaid grants starting Period 6 of 2012.

Datumanong added the release of payout for Period 6 covering the months November-December in 2012 and for the same period in 2014 to 22 towns of Maguindanao started last week.

The municipalities in Maguindanao’s first district where qualified beneficiaries would soon receive cash grants are Barira, Matanog, Parang, Datu Blah Sinsuat, Upi, Sultan Mastura, Sultan Kudarat, North Kabuntalan, South Upi, Mother Kabuntalan, and Datu Odin Sinsuat (Dinaig).

The second district localities where beneficiaries will receive cash grants are Datu Hoffer, Shariff Saydona, Datu Unsay, Datu Saudi, Datu Piang, Datu Anggal Midtimbang, Guindulungan, Talayan, Talitay, Pagalungan and Pagagawan.

Based on DSWD-ARMM data, GXI previously released a total of P373.85 million cash grants to 120,286 beneficiaries in Maguindanao. The Land Bank of the Philippines serves as the sole authorized disbursement agent of the DSWD for the nationwide distribution of cash grants. It also authorized money transfer agents to deliver the grants.

Alba reiterated the agency continuously monitors the distribution of cash grants to the beneficiaries across the region.

4Ps is the national government’s flagship poverty alleviation initiative, providing grants to the poorest households in order to improve health, nutrition and education of children.

The cash grants comprise P500 per month per household for health and nutrition expenses and P300 per child each month for educational expenses. Households with three qualified children would receive P1,400 monthly.

JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL

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