De Lima seeks probe into reported lapses of DSWD in implementing 4Ps Act, social amelioration programs


Share on facebook
Share on twitter

In two (2) separate resolutions, re-electionist Senator Leila M. de Lima urged the Congress to investigate the reported lapses of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in implementing Republic Act No. 11310, or the “Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) Institutionalization Act,” and various social amelioration programs (SAP) to find out if beneficiaries are being deprived of assistance and ensure that its services are not compromised.

In filing Senate Resolution (SR) No. 1000, De Lima, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development, said it is in the public interest that the Senate look into the reported lapses in the implementation of the 4Ps Act to prevent the same from occurring again, as well as to explore possible revisions to the law that would improve implementation of the program.

“Information recently gathered from some beneficiaries indicate that there were possible lapses in the implementation of the Program, including, but not limited to, delayed monthly financial benefits as well as reduction in the amounts received in many areas covered by the Program nationwide,” she said.

“Such lapses, if true, should be viewed with grave concern since these could result in noncompliance by some household-beneficiaries with the conditions for entitlement as provided for in Sections 11 and 12, respectively, of the Program,” she added.

RA 11310 provides conditional cash grants to qualified indigent families for a maximum of seven years, to improve their health, nutrition, and the education of their children aged 0-18.

De Lima, known as “Ina ng 4Ps” for being the author and principal sponsor of the 4Ps Law, with the assistance of Senator Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV as her Vice Chairman in the Senate Committee on Social Justice, likewise underscored the need to further educate the public on the 4Ps Act through an intensive information campaign by the DSWD and other concerned agencies.

She said such move will help “allay public fears, dispel false rumors, and ensure that this landmark legislation is rendered immune from the proliferation of fake news.”

It has even been recently reported that the 4Ps Act was being used for politicking, when fake news peddlers claimed that it would be discontinued should certain incumbents not be re-elected into office in the coming May 2022 elections.

    “Kailangang imbestigahang maigi ang isyung ito para proteksyunan ang mga benepisyaryo ng 4Ps. Hindi sila dapat biktimahin ng fake news at dumaan na naman sa mga pag-aalala ukol sa benepisyo ng 4Ps dahil sa pansariling interes ng ilang gustong manatili sa kapangyarihan,” De Lima said.

            In another Resolution, SR No. 1001, De Lima said it has become vital to determine whether the DSWD is sufficiently equipped and capacitated to continue to deliver services and programs as social protection programs became more crucial in recent years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

            “Given the DSWD’s crucial role in poverty alleviation, it can ill-afford any setbacks or inefficiencies in the implementation of its key social protection programs.

            “It behooves the Senate to ascertain whether the DSWD still has the capacity to ensure that none of programs are compromised by reason of institutional weaknesses brought about by the various duties it has been tasked to fulfill above and beyond its current mandate,” she said.

            “At the helm of the government’s poverty alleviation measures, DSWD has recently been flagged several times by the Commission on Audit (COA),” De Lima noted.

In its 2020 report, the COA observed that DSWD has certain problems and issues that ultimately cast doubt on whether the agency, with its current set-up and personnel, has the capacity to fulfill its mandate.

The COA flagged, among others, the ₱780 million unutilized funds due to “insufficient validation process” intended as cash assistance to pandemic-hit Filipinos and SAP overpayments to 20,196 beneficiaries who had already received cash and other forms of aid from other government agencies.

COA likewise flagged the “oversight” by the DSWD in its implementation of its Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS), which resulted in “deficiencies” in relation to around ₱722.8 million worth of funds, and certain “inappropriately documented” DSWD funds for ex-rebels, to name a few.

“The issue of undisbursed ‘ayuda’ is more than that of mismanaged funds, but more importantly, of the beneficiaries deprived of assistance at their greatest time of need,” she said. (30)

Office of Senator Leila de Lima
Rm. 502 & 16 (New Wing 5/F) GSIS Bldg., Financial Center, Diokno Blvd., Pasay City

Trunk Lines:
(632) 552-6601 to 70 local no. 5750

Direct Lines:
807-8489 / (Rm. 16) 807-8580 /local 8619

© 2019 Office of Sen. Leila de Lima. All rights reserved.