BACOLOD CITY, Nov 21 (PNA) — About 150 parent leaders of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in Negros Occidental signed a manifesto Friday pushing for the passage of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Bill that will extend and institutionalize the implementation of the program.
They represent 124,532 4Ps beneficiaries from 32 LGUs in the province, including Bacolod City.
The signing rites was held Friday at the Pantawid Parent Leaders’ Congress dubbed, “Tingog” or “The Voice” held at the Bacolod Arts, Youth and Sports (BAYS) Center here.
The beneficiaries presented the said manifesto to Representatives Evelio Leonardia of the Lone District of Bacolod, Jeffrey Ferrer of the Fourth District, Alfredo Benitez of the Third District, and Stephen Paduano of Abang Lingkod party-list, who attended the gathering.
Provincial Pantawid Operations Officer Dionela Flores said this is a lobbying strategy of the beneficiaries who fear the possible abolition of the program after the Aquino administration ends next year.
“The congressmen who came here have pledged to support the bill,” Flores said.
During the Congress, the Pantawid parent leaders also presented and raised various issues and concerns regarding the program, including the expansion of scholarships among Pantawid children.
Flores said at present, aside from high school scholarships, the program also provides scholarships to college students, but only limited to state colleges and universities.
Lowela Macalipsay, 49, a 4Ps beneficiary from Barangay Zone 3, Talisay City, said the program has really helped her family especially in augmenting their financial needs, and in the education of her children.
However, there are still many poor residents in their locality who are not covered by the program and really need the help of the government, she added.
Provincial Pantawid Office records showed that as of October this year, the government has already released almost Php 5 billion worth of grants to beneficiaries in Negros Occidental. About Php 140 million in grants will be released for November and December.(PNA)