MANILA, Philippines- President Benigno Aquino III is determined on his anti-poverty Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program by “tripling” its funding from the P29.2 Billion in 2011 to P62.6 Billion in the proposed 2014 national budget which the government hoped to be passed before year-end.
Palace spokesman Herminio Coloma Jr. said the increased budget aimed to improve the social services under the Aquino administration.
“Patuloy ang pagsisikap ng pamahalaan na maibsan at tuluyang mapawi ang kahirapan sa ating mga mamamayan na nahahanay sa mga itinuturing na nasa laylayan ng lipunan,” Coloma said.
According to Coloma, in the proposed 2014 national budget, about 4.3 million “poorest of the poor” Filipinos will directly benefit from the P 62.6 Billion CCT program budget which will be under the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
“Pangunahin na sa mga programang ito ang pinalawig at pinahusay na Conditional Cash Transfer o CCT Program na pinag-uukulan ng DSWD ng P62.6 bilyon sa susunod na taon upang ibayo pang palakasin ang estratehiya para sa paglaban sa kahirapan at paglilinang panlipunan.”
“Sa naturang halaga P12.3 bilyon dito ang inilaan para masakop sa programa ang tinatayang 10.2 milyong kabataan na nasa edad 15 hanggang 18 upang tulungan silang makatapos ng high school at mabigyan ng pagkakataong makahanap ng maayos na kabuhayan,” Coloma added.
Part of the CCT budget is a P2 Billion assistance for the 7,000 families who are settling on the streets, including also the 116,000 indigenous families who don’t have permanent houses, and the 8,956 people who are wandering in various cities and urban centers in the country, the Palace said.
At present, CCT is being implemented in around 1,600 cities and municipalities in 79 provinces throughout 17 regions in the country.
“There are already 3.9 million families covered on the program: 1.6 million in Luzon; 1.4 million in Mindanao, and 801, 293 in Visayas.”
Coloma added that aside from the CCT program budget , the government has also set aside P3.1 billion to give a pension of P500 to every “poorest of the poor” elderly in the country aged 77 years old and above whose number has now reached more than 479,000 based from the National Household Targeting System (NHTS) supervised by DSWD.
Palace further said they are setting aside more than P922,000 to finance the government PAMANA or Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan program being implemented by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process for its various livelihood projects in conflict-affected areas.
“Ang lahat ng programang nabanggit ay bahagi ng pangkalahatang layunin ng Pangulo na maisulong at maisaganap ang makabuluhan at sama-samang pagsulong o inclusive growth sa huling tatlong taon ng kaniyang termino,” said Coloma.
Coloma said their confidence is high that the proposed budget will get support from both the Congress and Senate and the Executive so it will be put into law and be immediately spent on the first day of year 2014.