“We only have the best interest and welfare of our beneficiaries in mind when we decide how to conduct payouts.” This was the statement of Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reacting to a report allegedly claiming that there were beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino program who were not able to receive their cash grants during the scheduled pay-out on June 11, 2013 in Tinambac, Camarines Sur.

According to Secretary Soliman, “We know that the grant is a big help in augmenting the country’s poor families’ daily needs and that is why we make sure that they receive their grants in the easiest and most economical way.”

Secretary Soliman added that out of the 44 barangays reported, only barangay Tambang of Tinambac was not able to receive their grants because of the adjustments being made in the mode of payment.

The Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) is the only authorized agency to disburse cash grants to beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilya. To ensure that beneficiaries receive their grants promptly and not spend so much for their transportation, the LBP has authorized money-transfer agents such as M Lhuilhier, G-Cash Remit, Philippine Postal Corporation, and other conduits such as rural banks and cooperatives to deliver the grants to the beneficiaries.

Arnel Garcia, Regional Director of DSWD Field Office 5 said that the LBP has already released a total of P6,979,200.00 for the 4,444 beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamillya in Tinambac, Camarines Sur. He also added that the adjustments in the mode of payment are being fast tracked so that the beneficiaries will receive their grants.

The Pantawid Pamilya maximum grant package per household amounts to P1,400 a month, where P300 is paid for every child who complies with the 85% required school attendance for the month, which can be given to a maximum of three children per household. Additionally, the household will also be entitled to P500 per month for complying with health and nutrition conditions. The amount of the grant is based on the number of children per household and compliance to program conditions.

To date, Pantawid Pamilya is being implemented in all 17 Regions covering 79 Provinces, 143 cities, 1,484 Municipalities and 40,978 barangays. There are 3,927,917 households registered as program beneficiaries as of 26 June 2013. ###(SMU, 29 July 2013)