MALACAÑANG is using the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program, the government’s anti-poverty scheme, to win voters’ support for Administration presidential candidate Manuel “Mar” Roxas, the camps of Vice President Jejomar Binay and Grace Poe said on Friday.
Binay, the standard bearer of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), accused the Administration of using CCT funds to pay for poll watchers to secure votes for its candidates.
“That is already happening, the one involved is a Cabinet Secretary,” he said.
Binay raised the matter in a speech during a sortie in Candelaria town, Quezon province, where he again slammed the government’s underspending.
“Tipid nang tipid, gagamitin pala sa eleksyon. Ngayon bigla-biglang ginagastos. Buhos ang pera [They kept holding back on spending, now it turns out the money is being used for their campaign. Now, the money is suddenly disbursed. Money is pouring],” he said.
“Hindi magtatagal at tiyak na makakaranas kayo ng nagbibigay ng pera. Ang sabi nga ngayon, ang isang Sekretaryo ng pamahalaang ito, nagpunta sa Laguna at ang sabi, hoy kumuha kayo ng mga watchers, kami ang magbabayad, kukunin namin dun sa mga PPPP [It won’t be long and for sure you will encounter someone who hands out money. It is said that a Secretary of this government went to Laguna and said recruit watchers, we will pay, we will get it from the PPPP,” Binay added, referring to the 4Ps, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, another name for the CCT.
Under the program, poor families receive cash benefits to enable them to send their children to school.
The camp of presidential candidate Poe also said the Aquino Administration is using the CCT program to lure the public into voting for Administration candidates.
Former An Waray Partylist Rep. Florencio “Bem” Noel of Partido Galing at Puso (PGP) claimed that beneficiaries of the anti-poverty program have been threatened of being delisted if they supported the candidacy of Poe and her running mate, Sen. Francis Escudero.
“I heard that CCT recipients would be delisted. It’s not a verified report, but the fact that CCT recipients are concerned of being delisted is enough basis,” Noel said.
Escudero also criticized Administration candidates and even the officials of the
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for spreading rumors that the CCT program would be discontinued if they lost in the elections.
He noted that the Administration could not claim sole credit for the program because it was started during the time of former President Gloria Arroyo.
Escudero also questioned the timing of the passage of a bill at the House of Representatives seeking to make the program permanent, noting that if the Administration was really sincere in helping the poor, the bill should have been passed earlier.
Meanwhile, Poe said her Administration will not only continue the CCT but expand its coverage to include indigent seniors.
She added that the program will be strengthened to include families nearing poverty and are vulnerable to disasters.