Department of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has a suggestion on how the government would help the poor instead of giving them allowances like what the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4ps) is doing.
Piñol, who expressed his opposition several times to the 4Ps said that he wanted to convert the 70-B pesos given by the government to the 4Ps beneficiaries into a livelihood funding assistance to improve the agriculture sector.
It seems that Piñol believes in the saying, “Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime”.
“I’m the most vocal critic of this program of the government. [It] is spending P70 billion annually [for 4Ps], which is bigger than the budget of the DA.
4Ps beneficiaries waiting for their allowance Photo: Emmanuel Piñol
“In fact, what I am saying is the 4Ps could be another program that could contribute to agricultural productivity if used properly. Instead of giving in forms dole-out every month, why don’t we start a livelihood program using that money?”
He believed that instead of making the people productive, 4Ps made its beneficiaries lazy and only depending themselves to the allowance that the government gave to them.
“People are not working anymore, and they are just waiting for their allowances. In fact, for years the 4Ps did not result in anything. Worse, the work force in the agriculture sector has been reduced because of it,” he said in an interview with reporters.
The agriculture secretary also claimed that many cabinet members supported his idea, but he refused to name them.
Piñol said that he’s going to submit his proposal to President Rodrigo Duterte at the next Cabinet meeting this month.
“The gist of my proposal is that we should make use of the 4Ps fund for livelihood activities to increase greater food productivity,” he said.
Meanwhile, several people criticized the proposal of Pinol including Akbayan party-list representative Tom Villarin who believe that the program encourages its beneficiaries to work and it also reduced alcoholism.
However, Piñol stood by his belief that the 4Ps program only being used for political purposes “especially during the last Presidential elections when the candidates of the administration really focused on the 4Ps program as proof of its care for the poor.”
He also accepted the challenge to debate with Villarin to prove that 4Ps is ineffective in fighting poverty.