Liberal Party (LP) vice presidential candidate Leni Robredo favors the continuance of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino program that grants monthly cash assistance to poor families.
Robredo, who used to work with the urban poor as a lawyer before becoming a politician, said the program gives hope to indigents.
Under the CCT, poor families are given cash grants of as much as P4,000 a month on the condition that children three to 14 years old attend school; children 0-five years old get regular health check-up and vaccinations; children aged 6 to 14 undergo deworming sessions every six months; parents attend responsible parenthood sessions and pregnant women get pre-and post-natal care.
“I am very much in favor of Pantawid Pamilya. There are testimonies, and these are not being published, from the sector benefiting from this program that the program is helping them well. I know because I used to work with them,” Robredo said during a recent consultation in Pangasinan.
Robredo said families who cannot afford to send their children to school are the biggest gainers from the program.
“CCT should not be viewed as a government expenditure. It is an investment in human capital. Because of CCT, children who can’t go to school can now earn a college degree and we’ll be saving a lot of lives as well since the program has a health component,” she pointed out.
“There are a lot of families that are given hope because they are feeling the gains little by little. Before, they used to be hopeless and resigned to poverty. But because of CCT, they have no choice but to work on completing the requirements so they could access the cash assistance,” the Camarines Sur lawmaker added.
Under the proposed 2016 budget, P62 billion was allotted for the CCT. The allocation will cover 4.6 million poor households. The program is being implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
“Yes, the program is not perfect. There are those who receive the cash assistance without complying with the requirements. But those are the exception rather than the rule. It really helps a lot of families,” Robredo said.