Promote entrepreneurship, gov’t urged

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The government should move away gradually from the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program and provide additional support to programs promoting entrepreneurship and agriculture, an adviser of President Duterte said yesterday.

Presidential consultant for entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said the CCT, a program that provides allowances to poor families who send their children to school and avail of health services, can be scaled down over a period of 10 years.

“I think the government has to look at a change in direction toward the conditional cash transfer,” Concepcion said in a press briefing in Malacañang.

“We give about P65 billion to those that are really at the bottom of the pyramid, which is fine, which is good. But frankly, it does not really teach them how to fish, we’re just giving them the fish,” he added.

“So we have to change that and I’ve asked, propose this to some of the secretaries that maybe over the next 10 years, that should move toward more government intervention.”

Concepcion said about 10 percent of the funds for CCT may be channeled to programs like the trade department’s shared service facility, science department’s Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program and equipment for farmers and small entrepreneurs.

“If we look at the other Asian countries like Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, the other sector is agriculture. We are challenged by this because poverty in this country will forever be there unless we really fix our agricultural sector. One can say that the agrarian reform program did not work,” he said.

Concepcion said the government may keep CCT if it still has money to maintain it while supporting programs aimed at small businesses.

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