STATE auditors have recommended to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to collect data on the employment rate among past beneficiaries of the government’s cash transfer program for a clearer assessment of the success — or failure — of the poverty reduction initiative.
“The data should not end with the number of graduates. It should also be linked to the employment rate,” the Commission on Audit (CoA) said in a report released last week, noting that employment was the most direct indicator of becoming a productive member of society.
The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, also known as 4Ps, is a conditional cash transfer program that was first launched in 2007. It was institutionalized in 2019 through Republic Act 11310.
Under the law, beneficiaries receive cash grants provided their children stay in school, receive regular health check-ups, have their growth monitored and get vaccinated. It also requires parents or guardians to participate in monthly community-based family development sessions.
CoA said other measuring tools should be established by DSWD to determine whether the 4Ps objectives are being accomplished.
“The DSWD should include a strategy on the involvement of other stakeholders/government agencies towards the attainment of the 4Ps goals including the breaking of the intergenerational cycle of poverty; and indicators to assess such an attainment,” CoA said.
State auditors noted in the same report that 3.82 million active household beneficiaries have remained under the poverty threshold for seven to 13 years.
DSWD data show a total of 1,464,352 beneficiaries graduated from high school as of 2021, while 36,172 completed college education from 2015 to 2019.
The program has released a total P537.39 billion in cash grants to 4.26 million beneficiaries from 2007 to June 30, 2021. — Matthew Carl L. Montecillo