Don’t pawn cash cards, PP beneficiaries told
The Department of Social Welfare and Development in Western Visayas (DSWD-6) warned all beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program not to pawn their cash cards as guarantee for their loans, collaterals and other lending transactions.
This after the Grievance Redness System (GRS) of the Pantawid Pamilya program in the region received reports that beneficiaries pawned their cash cards and used their Pantawid documents as loan collateral.
Only last week, 67 Pantawid grantees who came from villages of Barangay 1, Banago, Bata and Mandalagan, all in Bacolod City were caught pawning their cash cards to a female lender, who later surrendered those cards to the Bacolod City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) after several mediations made by the Punong Barangay of Brgy. Banago.
DSWD-6’s Pantawid Pamilya Project Coordinator Jonathan Anteza emphasized that the misbehavior is a clear violation of one of the conditions set by the program under the Pantawid Pamilya National Advisory Council (NAC). NAC is an inter-agency and highest policy- making body that provides policy directions and guidance on matters pertinent to Pantawid Pamilya implementation.
Under NAC Resolution No. 20 series of 2014 stated that beneficiaries who were complained for or caught pawning their cash cards will be facing the following; first offense, warning by the Municipal Link (ML); second offense, suspension of grants for three months or temporarily change of grantee to another responsible adult member or in the absence of an eligible household member; and third offense, termination from the program issued by the NAC based on the recommendation of the Regional Advisory Committee.
“Any appeal is no longer be entertained after the approval of NAC,” Anteza said.
He also said that apart from misbehavior, other cases of misdemeanor grievances such as misuse of grants, collection of fees, false representation of beneficiaries in the program, drug abuse, alcoholism and gambling have sanctions depending on the gravity of the case.
In the case of Bacolod City, Anteza said caught grantees will be placed under counseling and monitoring.
“This is an isolated case and very minimal. If you will base it on our total number of beneficiaries here in the region, it’s just less than one percent. However, we are not tolerating them. This incident may serve as lesson to those other beneficiaries and we are emphasizing that we are very serious and committed in strictly implementing the program,” he said.
Anteza added that Pantawid Pamilya supports the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals to help eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health and promote gender equality and empower women.
As of January this year, there are 325, 775 active beneficiaries in the region.
Nora Abella, 45, of South San Jose, Molo district, Iloilo City admitted that there was a time that she taught of pawning her cash card when her three children got sick.
Abella said she values her kids just like how she valued the privilege given to her by the government.
“At that moment, I was thinking of taking the risk of violating the condition. All I could do is to pray to God that somebody might help me or offer money for my kids’ medication,” she said.
Abella said her two brothers-in-law extended money to her for medicines and food of their nieces and nephew.
Abella’s good behavior garnered trust from her fellow beneficiaries, which led her to be elected as a parent leader.
She has been under the program for almost four years. Selling street food has been her livelihood since then her husband died.
According to her, she is confident that her three kids will finish high school since they are now included in the program. Every two months, she has receives P 2, 800 and she spends it for their food and the children’s education./dswd.6//Montesa Grino-Caoyonan