Guingona files bill institutionalizing 4Ps program

By Jelly F. Musico

MANILA, Sept. 23 (PNA) – Senator Teofisto ‘TG’ Guingona Jr. on Wednesday filed a bill seeking to institutionalize the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), or Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program, to reduce poverty and promote human capital development.

“Since poverty reduction has been the battle cry of previous administrations, the Philippines is never short of poverty alleviation efforts,” Guingona explained his Senate Bill No. 2960.

Guingona, chairman of the Senate committee on health and demography, said the Philippines has been ineffective in preventing the aggravation of poverty increases during recessions or calamities primarily due to inadequate targeting, uncoordinated and fragmented provision of social protection services, and unsound policies.

He said the lack of a law poses the threat of discontinuation of the 4Ps by future administrations.

Guingona said an estimated 45 percent of Filipinos teeter on the line of poverty and need a law that would assure them of access to social safety net programs.

“This is a call to strengthen our indigent people’s capacity to withstand the effects of market volatility and income disruption while investing in the improvement of their human capabilities in the long run,” Guingona said.

Entitled the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program Act of 2015, the bill aims to improve preventive health care of pregnant women and young children; increase enrollment and attendance of children in elementary and high school; reduce incidence of child labor, improve maternal health, and encourage parents to invest in their own and their children’s future and to participate in the growth and development of young children and the community. (PNA)