SENATOR Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said the government should rethink its Conditional Cash Transfer program, noting that the billions of pesos given to poor families may be better spent on infrastructure projects that could generate more jobs.
Speaking at the Kapihan sa Manila Hotel media forum, Marcos noted that while the government has been trumpeting a “remarkable” growth rate, it has hardly been felt by the majority of the people.
“You cannot add jobs if the economy is not growing. Now we hear that we are growing at a remarkable rate, but it is not felt by ordinary people. It is felt by big corporations, it is felt by rich people,” he clarified.
“There is a very serious failure in the policies for the distribution of wealth,” he added.
The senator said it may be time for the government to reevaluate the CCT program because despite spending P65 billion a year on dole outs, there has been no significant improvement in the poverty, literacy and mortality rates.
“We have probably arrived at a point of diminishing returns. Maybe that money can be used for schools, for hospitals, for roads, for bridges, for power plants, for the improvement of the internet, a new airport, more ports—all of these things are doable,” Marcos said.
These projects, he said, are essential in spurring economic growth and creating more jobs for the poor.
To create more jobs, Marcos said the government should also provide easier credit facilities to small and medium-sized enterprises, one of the main drivers of economic growth.
He suggested that the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) should redirect its courses to enable workers to compete with their counterparts in the upcoming Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) integration.
Marcos earlier said that if he will be elected as vice president, he would like to handle the portfolio of the Department of Labor and Employment.
“I believe that without changing any policies, without passing any new laws, we can improve the performance of the DOLE when it comes to protecting our workers, preparing our workforce for employment in the private sector, and in protecting and supporting our OFWs,” the senator said.