By Mike U. Crismundo
Butuan City — Due to the growing number of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) partner-beneficiaries pawning their cash cards, lawmakers in the different provinces in Caraga region have crafted local ordinances prohibiting the illegal act and penalizing the persons involved, it was learned yesterday.
This developed after officials of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Caraga region lobbied to all provincial lawmakers to craft an ordinance regarding the malpractice, it said.
The use of 4Ps cash cards, identification cards, and “kasabutan” (understanding) as loan collateral or pawn security has been an issue since 2011 when it was magnified as a widespread failure.
To address this concern, different legislative bodies in the five provinces of Caraga, namely, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, and Surigao del Sur, purposely created provincial ordinances last year to penalize and sanction loan sharks, lenders, and government officials who would violate the law.
These ordinances state that “government officials and employees, private individual or groups, financial or lending institutions, and local businesses or corporations are prohibited to accept cash cards as loan collateral,” with penal provisions having a fine of P1,000 to P5,000, suspension/cancellation of business permits and registrations, and a 10-day imprisonment.