MANILA – The government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) will receive an allocation of some PHP106 billion next year to provide cash grants to around 4.3 million poor families for their children’s health and education needs, a House leader said on Monday.

Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero, one of the authors of the law institutionalizing 4Ps, said the funding for the financial aid comprises the bulk of the proposed PHP169.3-billion 2021 budget for the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The 4Ps funding for next year represents an increase of PHP5 billion over this year’s allocation of PHP101 billion.

“The increase means that more poor families will receive financial assistance from the government,” he said.

The program grants a monthly subsidy of up to PHP1,500 to qualified families, provided they comply with certain conditions, including keeping children in school and attending family development sessions.

Romero noted that the total appropriation for 4Ps for 2021 actually amounts to PHP113.8 billion, including PHP7.8 billion for administrative cost and other expenses.

Of the PHP7.8 billion, he said PHP4.7 billion will go to salaries, PHP1.6 billion to “cost of service,” PHP289 million to “bank service fees,” PHP432 million to “monitoring and evaluation/spot checks,” PHP393 million to administrative expenses, PHP111 million to training, and PHP27 million to information, education, and printing of manuals and booklets.

Romero, meanwhile, urged state-owned Land Bank of the Philippines, which is the principal conduit of 4Ps cash grants, as well as other participating banks to reduce their service fees.

“A 50-percent reduction will mean an additional P1 billion that could go to beneficiaries or more poor families benefiting from the program,” he said.

Aside from the 4Ps allocation, Romero said DSWD’s PHP169.3-billion budget for 2021 also includes PHP41 billion for social protection programs like medical, transportation and burial assistance, and PHP4.3 billion for disaster response such as the provision of relief goods. (PNA)