SENATORS on Monday said the implementation of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) should be subject to Congressional review.

“An inquiry is in order to rationalize its operation,” Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III Sotto told reporters over phone message, Monday.

The remarks follow a Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) directive banning politicians from being present during distribution of funds to the public, including the 4Ps, to avoid adding a political character to the conditional cash transfers.

DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año issued Memorandum Circular 2019-55, which prohibits all local government elective officials and politicians from participating in activities of national government agencies.

“First, where there is smoke there is fire. Second, other countries and international companies spend billions on research and development yet we appropriate a very measly amount to science and communications technology,” Mr. Sotto said.

“We want to find out how the DSWD budget is being spent on payouts.”

Also among the Senators pushing for the review were Panfilo M. Lacson and Gregorio B. Honasan II.

“We plan to call for a hearing to inquire into the proper use of the 4Ps program, including its accomplishments in accordance with its defined objective, the accounting of the monies so far disbursed and other relevant issues surrounding the program,” Senator Lacson said in a separate message.

“It started during the last two years of the Arroyo administration and the allocations have increased many times over. It’s time to conduct a performance audit or review to find out what it has achieved.” — Charmaine A. Tadalan