• House urged to probe cash transfer program

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    Following the Commission on Audit (COA)’s report on the alleged anomalies on Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)’s conditional cash transfer program (CCT), a lawmaker renewed calls for Congress to urgently review the poverty alleviation measure.

    Gabriela Women’s Party-list Rep. Emmi de Jesus, author of House Resolution 332 that directs the Committee on Poverty Alleviation to conduct inquiries on the program, pressed the House of Representative to probe the latest report of corruption.

    The measure was filed last year where at least 13 lawmakers signed, including House Minority Leader Ronaldo Zamora.

    “This COA report is ample proof that Congress should review President Aquino’s dubious flagship poverty program,” De Jesus said.

    In the 2012 COA report, there was at least P50.15 million granted to 7,782 families whose names do not match the list of DSWD’s List of Validated and Registered Household Beneficiaries of the National Household Targeting Office (NHTO).

    There are also reports that there are double entries in DSWD’s list of beneficiaries.

    De Jesus maintained that the national women’s movement has consistently documented many irregularities in CCT, also known as the Pantawid Pamilya Program (4P’s) implementation and their ill effects on women and families, dispelling the claims by government that it has improved the situation of the poor.

    Meanwhile, Anakpawis Rep. Fernando Hicap backed the Gabriela solon’s inquiry into the alleged anomaly.

    “Since its inception in 2008, the CCT has been prone to irregularities and corruption,” Hicap said.

    “The ‘dole-out oriented’ CCT program is getting the biggest chunk of the DSWD’s annual national budget. The DSWD must account and explain how it is spending the budget. We must also know the program’s impact on the livelihood and well-being of its beneficiaries.”

    For 2014, 4P’s has a budget of P62,614,247,297 to cover children aged 15 to 18. The CCT program expects to cover 4,309,769 households under the regular CCT and Expanded CCT while 131,963 households for the Modified CCT.

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