MANILA, Philippines — Bayan Muna Partylist Representative Neri Colmenares on Thursday urged the Commission on Elections to bar candidates running for the elections next year from participating in activities for the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program.
In a media forum, he said that the Comelec should “intervene and warn any candidate that they are not allowed in participating in distributions for the CCT.”
“They should be disallowed in participating in the CCT. Kahit governor ka, dapat sorry na lang talaga pero hindi ka pwedeng sumama (Even you’re the governor sorry you cannot attend those activities),” Colmenares said.
ACT Teachers Partylist Representative Antonio Tinio, reacting to House minority leader Danilo Suarez’s concern that the CCT is being used for election purposes, said that it would not be advisable to suspend the CCT.
Suarez on Wednesday aired fears of the minority bloc that the CCT is being used in campaigning for the 2013 election by allowing candidates to participate in activities for distributions and identification of beneficiaries.
Tinio said that the CCT may be used in “increasing mass base through cash dole outs,” pointing out that in some cases governors and congressmen take part in CCT activities.
“It’s already highly politicized but the House minority leader’s request to suspend the CCT will be difficult. Those who suspend will earn the ire of the beneficiaries,” he said.
Colmenares said that the Comelec should put its foot down and prohibit candidates from joining CCT activities since this is “a DSWD function anyway.” “Tuloy pa rin ang CCT pero walang imbitahin na candidates para makidistribute (The CCT will continue but no candidates should be invited to distribute certificates).”