NFA rice, 4Ps and school’s feeding program
BUYING and reselling of NFA (National Food Authority) rice, 4P’s program (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program), Deped’s feeding program are among the prominent social programs of the government purposely aimed to reduce poverty and stabilize inflation.
This is done to recognize the role of social justice and social protection. Social justice as defined by the Supreme Court and taught in school means the equalization by the government of all the economic and social forces so that justice in its rational meaning will be attained.
The National Economic and Development Authority has defined social protection to mean embracing all policies and programs that strives to lessen poverty and susceptibility to risk and boost the social status and rights of the marginalized by stimulating and protecting livelihood and employment against hazards and sudden loss of income. There is a need however to determine the impact or effectivity of these social programs for decision making purposes. Specifically if these programs will be maintained or there is a need to improve it. As to how these will be improve depends on further and deeper research studies and if the concern government agencies or instrumentalities recognized it.
However, in a research paper entitled “Reforming Social Protection Policy: Responding to the Global Financial Crisis and Beyond by Rosario G. Manasan (2011), these social protection programs were presented and analyze. In a comparative table the researcher noted that in 2007 NFA rice subsidy constitutes 29 percent of total national government spending and was further increase to 69 percent in 2008. This is for noncontributory social programs. Furthermore there was an overlap in the objectives of both 4P’s and the food for the school program. Sometimes both program operates in the same geographical area, so there is redundancy as to the programs impact to the beneficiaries.
As an analysis, to attain the full purpose of buying NFA rice and distributing this to the marginalized sector, it would be better to lessen the importation of NFA rice. This should be bought by the government from the local farmers at a time when the supply of local rice is overflowing. The uncontrolled importation deprives local farmers of the needed income. In the 4P’s implementation it is not enough to just distribute cash to poor families without any activities or actions in return of the cash distributed. Beneficiaries should at least perform community service. While in the feeding program, there is a need to require additional homework activities for student beneficiaries. In these ways, the government will not rely merely on giving and giving resources without the needed return of government investments.