Former Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Dinky Soliman is in full agreement with Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima’s point that it is important to look at the different aspects of poverty affecting Filipinos to understand the public’s needs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the Episode 4 of “Acronyms: Work from Prison” last May 11, Soliman said the pandemic hindered the progress of several Filipino families, including the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), who were improving their lives and gradually recovering from poverty.
“Mayroon na nga tayong nakikita ngayon na isang sektor ng mga tao na ang tawag natin ay ‘new poor.’ Sila na po yung umangat from the poverty line noong 2016. Mayroong ding paangat pa lang, eh nagkaroon ng pandemya kaya bumaba ulit sila [sa poverty line],” Soliman said.
“Yun na yung sinasabi ni Senator Leila, na importanteng matingnan ang iba’t ibang aspeto ng kahirapan ngayon, gawa nga nitong pandemya. Ang malaking pag-atras ay nasa sitwasyon ngayon ng pandemya. Yun ang pinakaramdam na ramdam ng lahat ng tao,” Soliman added.
During these trying times, the former DSWD Secretary said the conditional cash grants given to qualified poor Filipino families are extremely essential to help them with their day-to-day struggles that became more challenging because of the crisis.
“Sabi ng iba, eh nagiging tamad ang mga tao dahil hinihintay na lang nila [ang cash grants]. Hindi totoo na nagiging tamad sila. In fact, motivation pa nga nila ito upang maging maunlad,” said Soliman.
“Sa assessment ng World Bank, ADB (Asian Development Bank) at Philippine Institute for Development Studies, lahat ng nasa ilalim ng programa ng Pantawid (Pamilya) ay mas masigasig maghanap ng trabaho kasi ngayon ay mayroon na silang kukuhanan, at yung iniipon nilang pera ay puwede nilang gawing pangmaliit na negosyo. Puwede na rin mag-aral,” she added.
The 4Ps Act provides conditional cash grants to an estimated 4.4 million qualified indigent families for a maximum of seven years to improve their health, nutrition, and the education of their children aged 0-18.
As the principal sponsor and author of the 4Ps bill in the Senate, now a law, De Lima sought the invaluable inputs from various local government units and other stakeholders to ensure the measure’s successful signing into law.
“Isa yan sa priority bill ni Senator De Lima dahil alam niya na maraming gusto na maging batas na ‘yan para nga hindi na magkaroon ng iba-iba pang interpretasyon dahil kung hindi batas, puwedeng gawan ng iba’t ibang sistema yan at hindi mabibigyan ng alokasyon,” said Soliman.
Watch full Episode 4 of Acronyms: Work from Prison, here: https://bit.ly/3eOmdi1