Soccsksargen gets P8.1-B for social services

Soccsksargen gets P8.1-B for social services

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The national government has allotted nearly PHP8.1 billion for the implementation this year of various social services and welfare programs for the poor in parts of Region 12 (Soccsksargen).

Cezario Joel Espejo, director of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Region 12, said Friday such funding comprises the region’s allocation for 2021 in line with the continuing rollout of its priority initiatives.

He said the bulk of the funds is set aside to support the needs of poor families or households, especially those covered by the conditional cash transfer, also known as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps.

Some PHP5.9 billion was allotted for the monthly grants until December of the region’s over 250,000 4Ps household-beneficiaries, he said.

Espejo said around PHP122.2 million was approved to provide livelihood and support other related needs of indigent families under its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).

The 4Ps and SLP, which are among the agency’s flagship initiatives, focus on helping alleviate the standard of living of poor individuals in the country.

SLP is a community-based capacity-building program that provides start-up seed capital for the livelihood projects of qualified poor families.

The 4Ps, which was institutionalized by the national government through Republic Act (RA) 11310, provides cash grants to poor families for their children’s health and education needs.

Mohammad Fayed Sarip, DSWD-12 budget officer, said this year’s funding also included some PHP1.6 billion for the PHP500 monthly social pension of indigent senior citizens as provided for in RA 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.

Some PHP186.4 million was allocated for the implementation of the supplementary feeding program, which provides hot meals to children five days a week for 120 days in partnership with local government units.

Espejo said they will provide regular updates and reports to the public regarding the utilization of its assistance and program funds.

“This is part of our financial transparency, part of the several steps in our effort to shun corruption,” he said in a statement.

He assured the public that they will not tolerate any of their workers who will exploit their funds for “illicit purposes.” (PNA)

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