By Leilani S. Junio
MANILA,(PNA) — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD),the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Commission on Election (COMELEC) on Monday signed a memorandum of agreement to boost the Bawal Ang Epal Dito (BAED) campaign.
Together, the three government agencies agreed to secure the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4P’s) beneficiaries from being used by politicians as part of their campaign strategy to gain leverage for the upcoming election.
The major signatories present during the signing ceremony held at the COMELEC office in Intramuros, Manila are DSWD Secretary Corazon J. Soliman, DILG Usec. Austere A. Panadero and COMELEC Commissoner Lucenito N. Tagle.
According to DSWD Secretary Soliman, the 4P’s beneficiaries should be aware that they should not allow themselves to be threatened to be delisted by politicians or groups who pressure them to vote or support certain candidate.
“No one can delist them from the list of beneficiaries if they are complying with the requirements set by DSWD to keep them enrolled in the program,” Soliman explained.
She added that 4P’s beneficiaries should not believed the barangay captain or any other influential candidate if they threatened to delist them because their inclusion from the program was based from the data gathered by National Household Targeting System (NHTS).
“We will not allow these politician to take advantage of this very good program of our government that provides cash assistance to indigents,” said DILG Usec. Panadero.
He said sanctions awaits those who will be proven guilty of the said offense.
He said they are proposing to the technical working group to penalize the offender from six months to six years.
The DSWD chief cited that 4P’s beneficiaries can stay in the program as long as they are complying to the requirements like sending their children or 85% school attendance, visiting health center and attending family development sessions.
She appealed to the beneficiaries of DSWD and the public to be on guard and report those who will commit the offense by reporting and texting at 09189122813.
She advice the beneficiaries also to be careful in choosing the politicians they will vote.
“If they (politicians) will resort to dirty trick of fooling the beneficiaries by claiming themselves as powerful men or women that can delist beneficiaries, then they are not worthy of the trust and vote. Choose wisely,” she added.