EDITORIAL – Not a campaign tool
(The Philippine Star) - January 16, 2016 - 9:00am

Inspired by the success of programs in countries such as Brazil, the Arroyo administration launched the conditional cash transfer, with the World Bank providing much of the financial aid, technical and human resource support.

The Aquino administration sustained and expanded the cash transfer, called the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. The so-called 4Ps requires beneficiaries of cash handouts to keep children in school and mothers to undergo regular checkups at health centers. The program aims to reduce the dropout rate, which remains high in basic education, as well as promote maternal health while at the same time easing poverty.

With just five months left in his term, President Aquino has expressed hope that the 4Ps will be sustained by the next administration. Some politicians, hoping to score brownie points with voters, want the program institutionalized. But the cash transfer is not meant to be a permanent program. Governments that resort to it must have a goal beyond regular handouts to the poor: to make such a program unnecessary.

Ending the program becomes more urgent once politicians begin using the handouts for partisan purposes – which is starting to happen, according to some complaints. The World Bank is supposed to screen potential beneficiaries together with the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and politicians are not supposed to take credit for any aspect of the 4Ps. WB officials had previously threatened to cut off support for the program if it is used for partisan purposes. But barangay officials, who are affiliated with political parties, have been included in the selection process. There have been complaints that beneficiaries known to support opposition candidates in places such as Cavite have been cut out of the program.

In some instances, politicians belonging to the administration coalition, including candidates in the May elections, have been seen attending meetings of DSWD officials and 4Ps beneficiaries or potential members.

With the official campaign period soon to start, President Aquino should give marching orders to the DSWD and his party mates to prevent a repeat of such events – that is if he sincerely wants to see this program sustained. The surest way to kill the cash transfer program is to turn it into a campaign resource.

4PS ADMINISTRATION AQUINO BENEFICIARIES CASH CAVITE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT PANTAWID PAMILYANG PILIPINO PROGRAM PRESIDENT AQUINO PROGRAM WORLD BANK
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with