Anomalies in implementing 4Ps in Northern Samar

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The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) has not brought any significant change in the economic conditions of impoverished people. In exchange for a small sum, the people are fed lies that the reactionary government has concern for and is doing something for them, even if in fact, their exploitation and oppression have worsened.

In a study conducted by the Rodante Urtal Command (New People’s Army-Northern Samar), peasants enrolled with 4Ps were found to be on the losing end, especially when it was first implemented in 2009. Peasants from Catubig and Las Navas ended up losing a minimum of P900.00, the equivalent of spending transportation money and not working for one to three days just to be able to go to the capital town of Catarman to collect the money.

Worse, however, local politicians have been using 4Ps as a source of kickbacks and to advance their political interests. In particular, the Daza dynasty of Northern Samar has been taking advantage of the implementation of 4Ps.

The Rodante Urtal Command’s investigation revealed that as far back as the 2010 elections, the Dazas had already used 4Ps as a means to dissimulate their electoral fraud and vote-buying. Months before the election, the distribution of cash under 4Ps was suddenly stopped. Beneficiaries were warned that they would be stricken off the list if they did not vote for the incumbents. The money was given only after the elections. The accumulated amount received by the peasants was rather large, with the election winners insinuating that it was a favor from them.

At first, beneficiaries got their money from a bank in Catarman. In 2011, however, the money was given in the form of G-Cash ostensibly to make it easier on the beneficiaries. But the real beneficiary was Johnson de Asas, a businessman and one of Daza’s men. De Asas owns the money transfer business in the towns of Catubig, Las Navas, Lao-ang and Palapag.

Beginning in 2012, on the other hand, the money from 4Ps has been distributed via the Rural Bank of Catubig. This bank is owned by a number of wealthy families in Northern Samar. Thus, the transfer is another political favor from the Daza dynasty to consolidate its position in the coming 2013 polls.

It is therefore hypocritical to say that 4Ps is for the poor, since the corrupt and those in power have been benefiting from it.

The peasant masses must be made aware of the fact that they are being swindled and that they must repudiate the Aquino regime’s empty 4Ps program.