Friday, September 18, 2015

As of September 2015...
DSWD 4Ps lists 56,628
beneficiaries in Bohol

TAGBILARAN CITY, Sept 17 (PIA)--As of September 2015, about 56,628 Boholano families are active beneficiaries of the government's flagship social benefit in Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). 

These beneficiaries are all over Bohol's 47 towns and a city, with the town of Ubay owning the biggest number of beneficiaries, according to the program evaluation officer. 

Family beneficiaries get cash grants with conditions: P300 each for a maximum of three kids aged 0-18 and P500 for health assistance, allowing a family P2,800 for each one in two months pay-out. 

4Ps Program and evaluation officer Karen Ferrolino bared this as she said those families with an annual per capita income of below P18,847.00 are aided with the cash grants called conditional cash transfers. 

The cash would only be given to screened family beneficiaries with kids from 0-18, with incomes below the poverty threshold, whose kids regularly attend classes and get to the rural health centers for de-worming and nutritional weigh ins and who regularly attend the Family Development Sessions. 

The Family Development sessions, which happen once in every two months, is where families get tips on health, nutrition, livelihood, personality development, disaster reduction and management, counseling and several other self-help topics, DSWD said.

This is after the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) had to clean up the list of beneficiaries from those who have clearly gone self sufficient, those whose kids have turned 18 and disqualifies the family of the benefits or those whom the local grievance teams have to act after deliberations and found to have been getting what they do not anymore deserve, adds Joan Florabel Felicio of the Provincial Grievance Office.

DSWD sources also bared that Bohol had cases of missing beneficiaries now. 

For missing beneficiaries, they mean those who, after the calamities that hit Bohol, decided to leave town and could not be traced anymore.

They could just simply inform their municipal links and do some paperwork, and DSWD can just transfer the cash grants to their new residences, Phoebe Jen Indino said. 

Indino sits as the regional 4Ps information Officer, and adds that if the absence of the beneficiaries is noted for three periods,-6 months, it will be another cause of delisting. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

Sen Marcos to meet Bohol 
coco-farmers on levy funds

TAGBILARAN CITY, Sept 2 (PIA)--In yet another of his provincial sorties, Senator Ferdinand R Marcos Jr, comes to Bohol to be with local coconut farmers and share his initiatives on the controversial coconut levy funds, September 18, 2015. 

The senator is set to grace the gathering of the Confederation of Coconut Farmers' Organizations of the Philippines at the Bohol Cultural Center, as guest of honor and speaker.

The senator has been openly advocating for a protection of the coconut levy funds so it could not be used for any other purposes but only for the benefit of coconut farmers and the coconut industry in general.

The coco levy fund was set up via Republic Act 6260, the Coconut Investment Act, and calls for creation of a Coconut Investment Fund and a Coconut Investment Company (CIC) to fully tap coconut planters' potential to maximize production and give them greater responsibility in directing and developing the coconut industry. 

It also seeks to hasten the growth of the coconut industry and related coconut products to improve, develop and expand the marketing system and ensure stable and better incomes for coconut farmers. 

Others believed the act was just an attempt to conspire and convince coconut growers to put up the funds for the industry's development and investment shares, where in fact the funds were allegedly used for personal benefits. 

The shares of the United Coconut Planters Bank and majority of San Miguel Corporation shares are but some of the alleged proofs of fund misuse. 

Now, the issue still lives, with coconut farmers fighting for justice against forced taxation, and reclaiming share of the Coco Levy Funds' investments. 

The Coco Levy Fund is estimated to have ballooned anywhere in the range of P100-150 billion in assets. 

With celebrated cases filed to regain the funds, the Supreme Court in 2012 ruled that the coconut levy funds, amounting to nearly P73.4 billion, is owned by the government and to be used only for the benefit of coconut farmers and for the development of the coconut industry. 

Earlier, Senator Marcos assured coco farmers of his support to ensure the coco levy funds will be used for their benefit and for the revitalization of the country’s coconut industry in accordance with the SC decision. 

In his consultations too, Senator Marcos said the move to award the levy funds to benefit coconut farmers and the industry has gained ground. 

Coconut farmers have earlier drafted roadmap for the industry's development, this would be the basis for the use of the coco levy funds.

The senator however is still needing support for the passage of a bill on the coco levy use. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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