News Release

PBBM wants 4Ps cash grants to automatically adjust to inflation to protect beneficiaries from price impacts

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Tuesday directed the National Economic and Development Authority, the Philippine Statistics Authority and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to lead a study to find ways for government aid, particularly the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), to be more responsive to the effects of inflation to the poorest of the poor.

In a Palace briefing, DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian said the directive was made by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. during the sectoral meeting earlier Tuesday, noting that the chief executive wants it done as soon as possible.

“Isa sa mga inatasan niyang pag-aralan namin is paano huwag mag-diminish o mabawasan yung halaga ng mga financial assistance or grants na ibinibigay natin sa ating mga mahihirap na kababayan,” he said.

“Alam naman natin na ginagawa ng economic team lahat para mapababa ang inflation, pero habang ginagawa ‘yun, kailanagan kaakibat yung pagprotekta sa peso value ng mga grants na ibinibigay natin, katulad sa 4Ps at sa bang pang mga programa na nakatuon sa pagbibigay ng social portection sa pinakamahihirap nating kababayan,” Gatchalian also said.

He said the DSWD will be partnering with the NEDA and the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) to find the “best index” to use to adjust government grants.

“‘Yan yung gist ng meeting kaninang umaga (Tuesday) na masigurado na naka-price index whether it’s cost of living or price of the essential baskets. We were tasked to work with PSA and the NEDA to find the best index to use to make sure na ang tulong pinansiyal, whether the 4Ps grants or, I guess, all other social protection that we do i-make sure namin na hindi siya napag-iiwanan kung nagkaroon ng spikes like inflation,” he said.

The 4Ps program, under RA 11310, provides for a fixed amount of cash grants to beneficiaries. In order to increase the amount of grant, a new law for the new round of cash grants, has to be passed by Congress.
But Gatchalian said that the President wanted to ensure that social protection programs are not just implemented timely but also responsive to the challenges brought by inflation. So instead of having a new set of cash grants, the President ordered them to come up with a set a formula for the grants so that it can be adjusted based on the current prices and rate of inflation.

According to Gatchalian, the country’s inflation rate for the bottom 30 percent income households, who were the most affected by effects of inflation, was recorded at 6.7 percent in 2023.

Gatchalian said the President wants the study the done immediately. “In the President’s term naman lahat, ‘everything has to be done now.’ ‘Di ba sa Bagong Pilipinas hindi pinag-uumaga ang trabaho,” he said. PND