MANILA, Philippines — Presidential aspirant Senator Panfilo Lacson plans to “reinvent” all cash assistance programs of the government, particularly the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), should he win the presidency in 2022.

This, as he stressed the need to streamline government spending on the provision of cash grants or “ayuda” to poor Filipino families.

“Ito plano namin, i-streamline o kaya ayusin, i-reinvent. Dapat ‘pag nagbigay tayo ng ayuda may purpose. Hindi ‘yung ayuda lang na pantawid, dapat bigyan mo ng ayuda na pang-ahon,” Lacson told local leaders and residents of Pampanga when he visited the province Friday for his “Online Kumustahan” gathering.

(We plan to streamline this or reform this, reinvent. Cash assistance must have a purpose, not just as a form of relief, but also something that can uplift.)

“Ibig sabihin, tinulungan mo para maging productive, para makapagsimula ng livelihood,” he added.

(What we mean is that you help them [poor Filipino families] become more productive by way of livelihood.)

According to Lacson, all state-funded cash assistance programs being implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) must be enhanced to help poor Filipino families improve their quality of lives.

“Hindi talaga purely ayuda na itatawid lang ang pamilya. Kailangan may balik. Dapat bukod sa tatawid, dapat aahon din ang kanilang kalagayan,” the senator pointed out.

(It’s not just purely assistance for the short-term relief of the family. It must be sustained. Apart from giving them relief, you must lift them out of [poverty].)

Lacson noted that there 16 social service programs currently being implemented by the government through the DSWD, including the 4Ps and other financial assistance programs for senior citizens.

“I think merong mahigit P1-bilyon kada taon para doon sa assistance para sa senior citizens.  Lahat ‘yan, binilang namin ‘yung social services na nasa pangangalaga ng DSWD, binilang namin 16 programa bukod pa sa 4Ps,” he said.

(I think more than P1-billion is being allocated every year for the [financial] assistance of senior citizens. We counted all the social services projects under the supervision of DSWD, there about 16 in total, aside from the 4Ps.)

Since 2016, he government has spent at least a half-trillion pesos for the 4Ps alone, according to Lacson. The 4Ps is a government initiative that offers conditional cash grants to the country’s poorest of poor families.

“Pero ang tanong ay meron bang naidulot o may umasenso ba?” he added.

(But the question remains, did we achieve our desired results?)

Lacson likewise said that grants or assistance being provided to senior citizens should be reviewed as well to boost their living condition.

“Dapat merong programa para maging productive pa rin ang ating mga senior,” Lacson added, saying more can be done by the government to help the country’s older population.

(We need to have a program so that our seniors can also be productive.)

Presidential aspirant Senator Panfilo Lacson faces local leaders and residents of Pampanga on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021.

Presidential aspirant Senator Panfilo Lacson faces local leaders and residents of Pampanga on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. Screengrab from Sen. Lacson’s Facebook livestream


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