Bukidnon dads seek ban on 4Ps recipients who pawn cash cards

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MALAYBALAY CITY – The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Bukidnon on Wednesday enacted an ordinance prohibiting the pawning of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) cash cards by beneficiaries in the province.

Introduced by Provincial Board member Minerva Casinabe, the “4Ps Cash Loan Prohibition” ordinance will be forwarded to the office of Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr. for approval.

It was not immediately clear if the governor will sign or veto the ordinance.

Christopher Capinpin, 4Ps provincial link, said Wednesday the province has over 85,000 4Ps beneficiaries, which could reach 90,000 as more families are being validated for inclusion into the government’s conditional cash transfer program.

Capinpin said for this year alone, a total of 48 beneficiaries have been suspended for pawning their cash cards to loan sharks, while 18 were also penalized last year for the same misdemeanor.

“Most of them have committed the first violation and only one of them reaches the second offense. But so far, nobody committed the third offense with a penalty of delisting,” Capinpin said.

But he said they have no power to penalize those who accept loans using the cash card as collateral.

“The ordinance will be of great help to us against those who accepted the loan. Somehow, they will be penalized too,” Capinpin said.

He clarified that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) only resort to delisting in cases of fraud.

In its explanatory note, the ordinance noted the widespread pawning of cash cards by 4Ps beneficiaries in the province.

It said the provincial government has the power to act against those who take advantage of the DSWD-supervised program, citing Republic Act No. 7160 or the Local Government Code, Section 33, Article III.

The provision states “local government units may, through appropriate ordinances, coordinate their efforts and services for purposes commonly beneficial to them.”

Section 5 of the proposed ordinance states that except in cases of emergencies, “as promptly determined by the Municipal Link or Provincial Link and validation of authorities, it is prohibited to use the cash or money received from the 4Ps for purposes of securing a loan, using the cash cards as collateral for purposes of securing a loan, commercial and individual creditors who are taking advantage of the individual’s financial needs and using it as a means of profit, whether or not there is a percentage interest in said loan, and any acts similar thereto.”

Violators would be penalized with a PHP5,000 fine or imprisonment not exceeding one year or both at the discretion of the court.

The proposed ordinance also states that any government or public official “who would violate the same may be held administratively liable under Republic Act No. 6713.” -PNA

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