VICE President Jejomar Binay vowed to continue the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program if he wins in next year’s presidential election.
However, he said he will introduce reforms to ensure that only qualified beneficiaries will be enrolled in the program.
“We will continue and improve the CCT program. But we will ensure better targeting of beneficiaries. Yong dapat lamang makakuha ng CCT ang dapat isama sa programa. Leakages in the program have to be addressed decisively,” he said.
Binay said his long experience in local governance has taught him the importance of continuity, predictability, and sustainability.
“For reforms to truly benefit our people, we need to identify policies and programs that should continue but will be further improved on. Hindi dapat itinitigil agad ang mga programa dahil lamang ito ay sinimulan ng dating administrasyon. Dapat pag-aralan, at tingnan kung ano ang maaari pang ayusin (You don’t discontinue a program just because it was started by the previous administration,” he pointed out.
Binay noted that the CCT program will have to be complemented by bigger government spending for health centers and hospitals.
“Access to healthcare is frequently denied the poor. Despite increases in the public health budget in recent years, millions of Filipinos, particularly the poor, do not have access to even the most basic health care,” he said.
Binay lamented that some local government units are unable to deliver health services to their respective constituents for lack of funds.
“Our overarching goal should be to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all Filipinos at all ages,” he said.
But the vice president pointed out that the best solution to poverty is for government to provide jobs.
“To achieve that, we need to bring in more foreign investors by making our country a more competitive business and investment destination,” he said.
He stressed the need to provide adequate and efficient infrastructure, services and incentives that strike a balance between service industries, manufacturing and agriculture, as well as tourism development since these are the main sectors that generate jobs.
“In a country like the Philippines where the majority of people do not earn enough and a large percentage lives in poverty, economic development that does not benefit the masses is meaningless,” he said.
Binay said he will also continue to implement the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program.
“This is but a continuation of the government and private sector partnerships we started in Makati, notably at the University of Makati. These partnerships have moved the local economy forward and provided jobs for Makati residents, which should be the end goal of such partnerships,” he said.