The Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Program does not promote mendicancy among its beneficiaries in the poorest of the poor households, Malacanang said on Sunday.
Secretary Herminio Coloma of the Presidential Communications Operations Office was referring to the government’s flagship anti-poverty strategy wherein each family belonging to the poorest of the poor sector is granted cash assistance in exchange for complying with conditions such as the parents should send their children to school and the family members should undergo regular medical check-up and attend family development sessions, among others.
Each month, a family gets P500 for health and nutrition expenses and P300 for each child in elementary school and P500 for those in high school.
During the recent Davao Business Summit, businessmen said the CCT Program should be overhauled under the incoming Duterte administration because the program is a doleout and makes the beneficiaries lazy.
Coloma said the beneficiaries are carefully chosen under the National Household Targeting System and that the pertinent details on the beneficiaries’ residence, members of the family and the ages of the children are strictly verified in determining their CCT Program qualification.
“The program is clear. It is conditional. This is not a doleout and it does not promote dependency because this was never just handed over to them. The public opinion survey showed that 80 percent of the beneficiaries are in favor of continuing it. So the past six years proved that the CCT implementation has been efficient,” he added.
“The President’s social contract is clear: To provide well-considered programs that build capacity and create opportunity among the poor and the marginalized in the country,” Coloma said.
He cited that at least seven million Filipinos made it past the poverty line because of the CCT Program.
“The CCT Program expands the government services, especially on education because the program now covers high school. The efficiency of the program has been proven time and again, as well as the World Bank and the US. This is a definite program to improve the capabilities of our people,” Coloma said.
“Isn’t it the government’s task is to provide social protection? To pull them out of poverty? That should be factored in when you talk about the CCT Program,” he added.