TACLOBAN CITY- With more than 4.4 million families as possible captive voters, it is not surprising that they are being targeted by some politicians relative to the forthcoming 2016 elections.
But these families, who are registered under the government’s anti-poverty program, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps, should not be used or drag for any political purposes, says Social Welfare Assistant Sec. Javier Jimenez.
This early, their office has already received “feedbacks” from 4Ps members, who all belong to the poor sector of the country’s economy, that they are being threatened by “certain” politicians that they would be removed from the list if they would not vote for them in next year’s elections, Jimenez said.
He said that the feedbacks that they received were from Zambales, Dagupan and Pampanga, among others reason why they immediately conducted to their information drive about the program.
“This is a program of the national government and not by certain politicians. While we are grateful to Congress for supporting the program, what’s involved here is public money,” Jimenez said during a press conference on Monday here in Tacloban.Jimenez, aside from Tacloban, went to Calbayog City as part of their advocacy campaign.
He said that based on the feedbacks that the Department of Social Welfare and Development(DSWD)-Manila has received, during pay out among 4Ps beneficiaries, these politicians either threatened to remove them from the lists or add the number of beneficiaries or claimed that the money were from their own pockets.
According to Jimenez, there are 4.4 million families who are beneficiaries of the program wherein 719,273 families are from Eastern Visayas.
The DSWD, in this light, is going around the country to inform the beneficiaries that they could not be delisted by politicians but rather if they violate guidelines set under the program and at the same time, asks politicians or would-be candidates not to use the program for their own political end.
Jimenez said that these moves of the politicians could be considered as an “epal” act.
The DSWD official, however, admitted that they could only do so much on their campaign considering that they don’t have any prosecutorial powers.
“What we can do is just to ask them, apply moral persuasion to them,” he said.