By Mike U. Crismundo
Butuan City – Beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps have been warned not to pawn their cash cards to loan sharks, or they will face punitive action.
The cash card holders were also threatened with suspension or delisting if they are found to have misused the cards by pawning them or using them as collaterals for loans.
The regional office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD 13) issued this stern warning to stop the 4Ps’ beneficiaries in pawning their cash cards.
The DSWD 13’s Provincial Action Committees (PACs) in different five provinces and six cities in Caraga region have already lobbied with the local legislative bodies in an effort to create local ordinances penalizing individual or any money lenders.
With this development, the DSWD 13 has taken up the cudgels of bringing the matter to the attention of the different legislative bodies in the region to craft a legislative solution to put a stop to the malpractice or put sanction against money lenders.
Since year 2014, the DSWD 13-PAC recorded 1,009 beneficiaries of the 4Ps were not in possession of their respective cash cards which, as it turned out, were already in the hands of loan sharks.
It was reported that the 4Ps cash cards could be pawned from R1,000 to R5,000 with borrowers paying 15 percent interest.
Most of these incidents have been recorded in Surigao del Sur.
“Because of our continuous lobbying with the local lawmakers since August last year, this kind of malpractices already declined,” said Ms. Crislea D. Celeste, 4P’s Regional Program Coordinator, in an exclusive interview with The Manila Bulletin on Friday afternoon.