• Automatic inclusion of fire victims in CCT program sought

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    A lawmaker over the weekend urged the government to automatically list fire victims as beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program to quickly and effectively mitigate the effects of such mishaps on affected families.

    Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano believes that the government could do better in providing assistance to fire victims by not entirely relying on local government units (LGU) to provide assistance to them.

    Fire victims are usually given cash assistance ranging from P2,500 to P5,000 per family by LGUs, but the amount is not enough for the victims to rebuild their lives, according to the senator.

    Cayetano, thus, sees the CCT program as an effective tool to provide fire victims with the needed assistance.

    He said the Department of Social and Welfare Development should be the first agency to provide aid to victims of fire.

    By the inclusion of fire victims in the CCT program, families are assured of monthly financial aid from the national government. This would also allow them to continue sending their children to school, the lawmaker cited.

    The Bureau of Fire Protection has recorded at least 482 fire incidents within the first two months of 2014 in Metro Manila alone.

    Cayetano previously filed Senate Bill 1940 which seeks the creation of an “Emergency Response Department” that will be headed by a person with the rank of Cabinet Secretary. The proposed department will focus on disaster preparedness.

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