KORONADAL CITY, March 16 — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is set to release rice subsidy in the form of cash amounting to P600.00 per month to the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) starting this March. Around 4.4 million households are expected to receive the additional grant.

In this picture shows 4P beneficiaries in Koronadal City, South Cotabato.

“Following the directive of President Rodrigo R. Duterte during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) in June 2016, the rice subsidy hopes to address the hunger problem that the poor households continue to battle.

DSWD 12 regional director Bai Zorahayda T. Taha said the President wants that the poor households are able to eat everyday.

Dir. Taha also added that only households who are active and compliant with the program conditionalities are entitled to receive the additional P600.00.

In Region 12, more than 250,000 beneficiaries currently covered by the program.

Pantawid Pamilya is a social protection program of the national government. It invests in the health and education of poor households primarily of children aged 18 and below. Households shall receive their cash grant provided that they comply with the program conditionalities.

These conditions include school attendance of at least 85% per month for children enrolled in the elementary or high school. Children aged 5 and below would need to undergo preventive check-up as mandated by the Department of Health (DoH), while children enrolled in the elementary must receive deworming pills twice within the school year. On the other hand pregnant women must receive pre and post natal care based on DoH’s protocol. Lastly, parent/s or guardians are required to attend the monthly Family Development Session (FDS).

“We are hopeful that the additional cash grant will be used for its intended purpose. We will use FDS to ensure that the beneficiaries are informed of the relevant provision on rice subsidy,” Dir. Taha said.

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program regional program coordinator Juliet Clavel said the additional cash grant as Rice Assistance/Subsidy is included as part of the P72, 115,230.00 cash grant budget approved for calendar year 2017.