News Release

DSWD: Providing rice instead of cash to 4Ps is under study but admits it is logistically hard

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian said his department is currently studying the proposal of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to provide kilos of rice instead of cash assistance to the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

“We always say it’s logistically hard,” Gatchalian told the Malacañang Press Corps in a press briefing on Tuesday when asked to comment on the recommendation of the DA.

“Pero patuloy kaming nag-uusap ng Department of Agriculture kung paano ma-implement ito. Kaya logistically hard kasi kung iisipin ninyo, kalat-kalat iyong ating mga benepisyaryo – 4.4 million spread across different areas in the country,” he pointed out.

Gatchalian added that providing rice subsidy to 4Ps beneficiaries may also go against the directive of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., which is to ensure speedy and convenient access to all assistance from the government.

He emphasized that they do not implement a program if it will inconvenience the beneficiaries.

“I told the President we will continue studying, but the President also said na baka logistically mahirapan, so nandoon muna tayo. We’re not saying no, studies are ongoing pero taking into account the logistics na kailangan para hindi mahirapan ang ating mga kababayan,” he added.

Gatchalian sat in a sectoral meeting with President Marcos where DSWD was ordered to ensure that assistance to 4Ps beneficiaries will not be diminished by inflation including the financial grants extended to less fortunate Filipinos. PND