Social Welfare Secretary Erwin Tulfo on Monday said beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) were not supposed to receive the one-time educational cash assistance from his agency.

In an interview with reporters, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) chief said the government would take back the money disbursed to 4Ps beneficiaries.

“The 4Ps itself is already a form of educational assistance. Kasi hindi ka pwedeng maging 4Ps member naman kung wala kang anak na nag-aaral,” Tulfo said.

The DSWD is distributing a one-time cash aid to indigent students from elementary college every Saturday from Aug. 20 to Sept. 24.

The assistance program hands P1,000 to elementary students, P2,000 to high school students, P3,000 to senior high school students and P4,000 to students enrolled in college or vocational courses.

The recovery of the mistakenly distributed amount would not be instantaneous, Tulfo said.

It was Tulfo himself who said all children coming from low-income families would be eligible for educational assistance.

In an Aug. 18 Palace briefing, he said: “This program is aimed to help our indigent students all over the country, which means to say that children coming from poor families will be given cash assistance to buy their school supplies or whatever that they need in school such as school supplies, school fees, uniform [and] shoes.”

“Lahat po ng mga bata na anak ng mahihirap, hindi lamang po solo parent, halos lahat na ho kasi eh – solo parent, magulang ay PWD, magulang ay may mga sakit, mga ulila na mga bata, mga batang anak ng tricycle driver, labandera, katulong, magtataho, jeepney driver – puwede po kayong pumunta,” he added.

Up to three children per family could receive the assistance. John Ezekiel J. Hirro