Burdensome and deceptive 4Ps in Southern Mindanao

ANG BAYAN
7 March 2012
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The bogus and deceptive character of the US-Aquino regime's much-vaunted antipoverty scheme -- the Programang Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino -- is plain to see in Southern Mindanao.

In Paquibato District, Davao City, the masses are railing against the inclusion of rich peasants and small businessmen in the 4Ps list of beneficiaries while the Department of Social Welfare and Development's (DSWD) list excludes poor peasants. According to National Democratic Front-Southern Mindanao spokesperson Rubi del Mundo, only the DSWD identifies who the beneficiaries of the 4Ps program are.

The same situation exists in the towns of Laak, Monkayo and Montevista in Compostela Valley where barangay officials, their relatives and close friends who are usually rich peasants are on top of the list of beneficiaries.

Getting hold of their subsidies is tiring, chaotic and expensive for the beneficiaries who often come from farflung villages. They have to spend for motorcycle fare for such a small amount of financial assistance. Some even end up spending more for transportation compared to the subsidies they actually receive.

Ordinary beneficiaries from Paquibato District and other areas of Davao City have been arbitrarily taken off the list. Those living in villages along the provincial borders find it difficult to get their subsidies, especially when their names have not been excluded in the latest voters' lists for having failed to vote in the last elections.

In Kitaotao, Bukidnon, the military has been prohibiting women beneficiaries from joining democratic mass organizations.The 4Ps program has been purposely targeting Davao City and other areas where progressive parties and mass organizations are strong. The goal is not only to stop women's organizations from engaging in militant struggles but to derail the struggle of the urban poor for social services, decent wages and employment.