DUMAGUETE CITY — Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon “Dingky” Soliman has issued a stern warning to persons, including politicians, who will take advantage of the programs of government for their own vested interests.
Soliman was told an unnamed politician in Negros Oriental had forewarned beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) that their names will be removed from the list if the said politician will not win in the May 9 elections.
She stressed nobody, not even the President, can remove a beneficiary from the 4Ps list unless the concerned beneficiary himself or herself fails to comply with the conditions of the grant.
Soliman reminded the beneficiaries in the province and in the entire country not to vote for politicians who spread lies about the program.
“Only the beneficiary can cause his or her membership with the conditional cash transfer program and nobody else,” she pointed out.
Soliman made the statement following reports saying certain local government units in the province are allegedly requiring 4Ps beneficiaries in their respective areas of jurisdiction to attend political meetings and gatherings.
The DSWD chief issued a verbal directive to DSWD Negros Island Region (NIR) regional director Shalyn Marie Sun Lucero in the presence of Gov. Roel Degamo who was also invited to grace the occasion, to validate the information and submit a report on the matter as soon as possible.
It was also reported that minimal amounts were even collected from 4Ps beneficiary who refused to attend such meetings.
The DSWD secretary was in Dumaguete on Monday for the opening of a three-day national assessment of programs and projects for last year as well as for planning sessions for 2016.
The national development conference, with the theme: “DSWD at 65: Mga Kwento at Tagumpay Tungo sa Masaganang Pagbabago” was held at a hotel in the city.
Participants of the conference include regional directors, bureau directors, executive committees as part of the yearly assessment, and to recognize the new region which is Region 18, as a coming out party for the new region with Lucero as the first regional director.
One of the matters up for discussion is the transition period as soon as the new president of the country takes over the helm of government on June 30 and the strengthening of other programs and policies aside from the social pension and supplementary feeding program, among others.
Soliman also made it clear that the livelihood component of the Conditional Cash Tansfer (CCT) had been implemented since 2013 in response to recommendations by Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano for the government to allocate PHP1 billion in each of the 18 regions of the country.
Records show out of the more than 4.5 million 4Ps beneficiaries , more than 390,000 had benefitted from the livelihood component for starting a small business and employment facilitation with total allotted funds amounting to PHP9 billion.
As a result, around 1.5 million families have been bailed out of poverty. PNA / northboundasia.com