Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy Taguiwalo agreed with the statement of a Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiary, who was interviewed over a television station, that livelihood and employment are the more appropriate help for the Filipino poor rather than the conditional cash transfer program.
During the interview, Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary, Angelita Hagad, admitted that she benefits from the program but she is not contented with the help.
Angelita said, “Trabaho ang kailangan na kailangan namin para hindi kami parating umaasa. Kung kami ay may trabaho, may pagkain ang mga pamilya namin saka hindi na kami aasa pa sa gobyerno (what we truly need is work so that we will not be dependent [on the government]. If we have work, we will have food for our families and we will no longer rely on government).”
During the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, he announced that Pantawid Pamilya will be enhanced so that the beneficiaries can stand on their own feet. The President added that 40 kilos of rice will be given to the families on a monthly basis.
However, Sec. Taguiwalo said that the Department is still looking into how this could be implemented. She disclosed that the most viable, at this time, is to provide 10 kilos per family.
“Kasi ang original namin na sabi baka kakayanin natin one time big time na isang sakong bigas, pero even that would be a problem because where are we going to get the 4.4 million sacks of rice (The original suggestion, if we are able, is to provide a one-time big time one sack of rice to the beneficiaries, but even that would be a problem).”
Sec. Taguiwalo added there are 4.4 million households benefiting from Pantawid Pamilya but 1.5 million are already in transition, or those who are no longer considered poor.
The Secretary stressed that the Pantawid Pamilya program will continue but there will be no more addition to the number of household-beneficiaries.
More importantly, she said, “Nakakatulong ang programa na mapag-aral mo ang anak mo, P1,500 pero hindi siya talaga masu-sustain in the long run kung wala silang regular na source of income (the program helps the families send their children to school, but the provision of P1,500 in cash grants will be difficult to sustain if they do not have a regular source of income).
Sec. Taguiwalo further said that this is the primary purpose of the on-going review of the Pantawid Pamilya being conducted by the transition team of the new leadership of the DSWD.