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CCT funds can stand scrutiny – Noy

Aurea Calica - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Billions of pesos spent for the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program can stand scrutiny after this administration steps down from office.

President Aquino made the assertion during the 65th anniversary celebration of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Malacañang yesterday.

In his speech, the President said that the budget for the CCT program increased from P10 billion in 2010 to P62 billion in 2015. And from 787,000 household-beneficiaries, the number has reached 4.4 million.

For this year, the budget for CCT program further increased to P62.7 billion for the 4.6 million target household-beneficiaries.

However, the President said, some were calling for an investigation on the CCT program because of the huge fund allocation for it.

“But I suppose those of us in the majority who are open and in their right minds will say that the 7.7 million Filipinos reported to have been lifted from poverty because of the CCT were truly worth every peso allocated for the program,” he said.

“The truth is, that is just the initial result. Of course, now that the coverage of the CCT program has been expanded to high school – along with the help of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and the Commission on Higher Education – we will have more young skilled workers. Meaning, their salaries will be fixed, higher and will make them more capable of uplifting their lives,” he explained.

Aquino also commended the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive Integrated Delivery of Social Service project.

The project has helped train poor communities to think and implement programs and manage local projects that they themselves identified such as roads, water systems, schools, barangay health stations and farming facilities.

The President said from July 2010 to December 2015, the number of projects totaled 16,282, which has directly helped 3.9 million household-beneficiaries.

P10K bonus for DSWD staff

Aquino said the DSWD has come a long way from being a donation-dependent agency to an agency with fiscal stability under his administration.

“I remember that in the aftermath of Typhoon Ondoy in 2009, it was the era before the straight path policy, there were many tarpaulins of DSWD asking for donations,” the President said in Filipino.

“It appeared that the DSWD, the agency that was supposed to help, was the one asking for relief goods from the public… Now, the changes in the agency are obvious. It has enough fund, so it does not anymore need to call for donations,” he added. ?The President announced a P10,000 bonus for DSWD officials and employees for their strength and endurance in dealing with disasters and the personal problems of those they needed to assist.

He also thanked Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman, whom he said is “working 25 hours per day and eight days a week,” and the personnel of DSWD for their hard work.

Testimonials

The President said what makes him happy about the DSWD are the testimonies of the beneficiaries of CCT and other programs of the agency.

It was 78-year-old vendor Rosario Resulta from Gerona, Tarlac who broke the ice during the anniversary celebration of the DSWD.

She elicited laughter when she gleefully thanked the President and the DSWD for the “door-to-door” social pension she was receiving from the government, saying she really had no more money to pay for fare and sourced it somewhere else.

Resulta, mother of four, has been a social pension beneficiary since 2013. She has been the breadwinner of her family since her husband died of lung ailment in 1964.

Meanwhile, 14-year-old beneficiary John Ramon Gadia of Makati City talked about how at a young age he was becoming hopeless due to poverty, but the CCT program changed his life. After graduating valedictorian from the San Antonio Village Elementary School in 2014, he now studies at Makati Science High School. – With Delon Porcalla

ACIRC

AQUINO

BUT I

CCT

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT

DSWD

HIGHER EDUCATION

JOHN RAMON GADIA OF MAKATI CITY

KAHIRAPAN-COMPREHENSIVE INTEGRATED DELIVERY OF SOCIAL SERVICE

KAPIT-BISIG LABAN

PRESIDENT

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