800K more CCT beneficiaries eyedBy Cynthia D. Balana
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The P44.25-billion proposed budget for the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program in 2013 would allow the Department of Social Welfare and Development to add some 800,000 beneficiaries to the CCT and help as well other poverty-reduction programs of the government, said Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman.
In justifying the increase in the CCT budget, Soliman said the CCT, also known as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Progam (4Ps), constituted 75 percent of the DSWD’s entire proposed budget of P55.97 billion for next year. She said this would cover all the 3.5-million target household-beneficiaries for 2013.
“The DSWD’s proposed budget for 2013 focuses on strengthening the 4Ps, the Kapig-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan–Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), Sustainable Livelihood, Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens, Supplementary Feeding Program and other protective services so that more poor families would be reached and not left behind,” Soliman said at the end of the Senate budget hearing last week.
The same budget has already been approved in the House committee on appropriations. Both the Senate and the House have scheduled the DSWD budget for plenary presentation.
Soliman said the proposed 2013 DSWD budget was P7.3 billion, or 15 percent, more than last year.
But she was quick to point out that the DSWD budget was 2.8 percent of the total national proposed budget of P2.006 trillion, and 7.9 percent of the total budget for social services.
Of the proposed CCT budget, P40.4 billion will go to cash grants straight to the beneficiaries’ ATM cards through Landbank or through Landbank-accredited conduits in areas without Landbank ATMs. As of August 15, there were 3,038,420 household-beneficiaries, and more than 7.4 million children enrolled in the program.
“I am confident that our legislators see the importance of investing in our children whom the DSWD is trying to keep in school and in good health, thus, we are optimistic that our proposed budget for 2013 will be approved,” Soliman said.