MALACAÑANG on Monday defended anew the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program as the government’s anti-poverty program continues to face criticisms.
Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and World Bank benefit incidence analyses showed that the CCT, also known as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), is achieving its objectives.
He insisted that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has been prudent in spending the budget for the program.
“Ayon sa independienteng pagaaral ng ADB at World Bank maliit na porsyento lamang ang tiwali o di karapat dapat na benepisyaryo ng CCT at sa kabuuan, mainam ang pangangasiwa ng DSWD dito [According to an independent study conducted by the ADB and the World Bank, only a small percentage is categorized as anomalous or unacceptable as beneficiaries of CCT and in total the DSWD is doing a good job],” Coloma told reporters.
“Kahanga-hanga pa rin ‘yung performance ng [The agency’s performance is commendable] DSWD considering the magnitude of the task at hand, which is to directly transfer the cash benefits from the 4Ps and CCT programs,” he added.
Coloma made the remarks in reaction to the criticisms of Vice President Jejomar Binay, who vowed to overhaul the administration’s CCT program if he wins the presidency in the 2016 elections.
He said the CCT program would have to be complemented by a bigger government spending for health centers and hospitals and cheaper medicines.
“Despite the increases in the public health budget in recent years, millions of Filipinos, particularly the poor and the destitute, do not have access to even the most basic health care,” Binay said.
“The health care system is fragmented and the public health workforce is diminishing in the face of increasing demand for health services,” he added.
Binay said that in the long term, the best solution to poverty was for the government to provide jobs for the people.
“To achieve that, we need to bring in more foreign investors to the Philippines by making our country a more competitive business and investment destination,” Binay said.
“In a country like the Philippines where the majority of the people do not earn enough and a large percentage lives in poverty, economic development that does not benefit the masses is meaningless,” he added.