Palace defends DSWD ‘anti-epal’ campaign

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Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Malacañang on Monday defended the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) from criticism that it was allotting P10.5 million for its campaign against “epal’’ or credit grabbers.

Undersecretary Abigail Valte said the P10.5 million was the entire budget of the social marketing service that leads DSWD’s advocacy to apprise beneficiaries of the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program of their rights against credit-grabbing politicians.

The deputy presidential spokesperson said the social marketing unit was in charge of disseminating the department’s various programs to the public through the media. She said the amount included allocations for personnel services and miscellaneous and other operating expenses.

“Essentially, it’s an advocacy of the DSWD to inform the beneficiaries themselves. Because we’re getting reports that politicians were warning beneficiaries that if they did not vote for them they’d be stricken off the list,’’ she said in a briefing.

Valte said the advocacy became more relevant in view of the upcoming campaign for the midterm elections in May.

“What we are trying to safeguard against is that the program becomes a tool for patronage politics. We don’t want that to happen,’’ she said.

Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casiño has called the public’s attention to the DSWD plan to spend P10.5 million in CCT funds for its campaign against credit-grabbers. He questioned the campaign, saying this wasn’t part of the department’s mandate.

Casiño said the DSWD published on Dec. 31 last year an invitation for a service provider for newspaper publications, and the  production and airing of TV and radio commercials for the CCT’s “Bawal ang EPAL dito (Credit grabbers are banned here)” campaign.

“The DSWD wants to use the people’s money for something not within its mandate or expertise. Further, given the wide definition of what epal is, the funds can be used for partisan political activity against the critics of the 4Ps and the Aquino administration,” he said.

Patterned after Latin American countries’ CCT, the program provides direct education and health subsidies to the poorest households that comply with certain conditions such as high class attendance for children and regular prenatal checkups for mothers.

Of the DSWD’s P56.3 billion budget for 2013, the CCT program was allotted P44.2 billion.

The three-year-old scheme gives up to P1,400 a month to each of  the poorest families who meet certain criteria, like keeping their children in school and bringing them, as well as pregnant family members, regularly to government health clinics.

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  • buttones

    Quote “ “Essentially, it’s an advocacy of the DSWD to inform the beneficiaries themselves. Because we’re getting reports that politicians were warning beneficiaries that if they did not vote for them they’d be stricken off the list,’’ she said in a briefing………

    And there you have it, straight from the horses mouth so to speak, an affirmation, a confirmation of the state of mind not just of political types but the vacant voters as well… no names of political types mentioned I noticed- why not name and shame eh?

    CCT being used for political kudos- a tool? Perish the very thought!

    • speaksoftlylove

       Bilyones yang intelligence at discretionary funds ni PNoy bakit hindi yan ang gamitin nila at kailangan pang kaltasan yong ipapalamon sa mga tao? Gapatukang manok na nga lang yong ibinigay sa mga nasalanta at namatayan sa bagyong Pablo pero heto si Soliman at iba ang pinagkakaabalahan.

      • ARIKUTIK

        Nag survey ako sa colony ng mga mahihirap, wala ni isa man na pinalamon ng CCT. Baka si Soliman ang sinasabi mong pinalamon kasi mas mahirap siya kesa kay Boy AB. Eto ang tiyak inamin ni Avegil > ang pondo ng CCT ay gagamitin sa electionering, pang anti Epal Election daw. Ang CCT is now election fund. The greatest corruption of all time > billions of CCT election campaign fund ni Boy AB at ng kanyang LP lapdogs.  

    • ARIKUTIK

      Sa wakas ay inamin din ni Avigel na ang Billions pesos CCT ay Election Fund.

  • speaksoftlylove

    I recalled that “Anti Epal” bill was introduced by Santiago and still in the back burner, it has not yet become a law. And even if it is a law, the agency that will implement it is the Commission on Elections not DSWD or the palace for that matter. So what is the situation here? Soliman deeping again her dirty hands from the CCT funds that came from taxpayers money when they have no mandate for such funds fto be used on alleged Anti Epal has not been appropriated. This is a clear evidence of Technical Malversation against Soliman and the ultimate goal is not the “Anti Epal campaign” but electioneering.

  • speaksoftlylove

    You cannot make shortcuts Valte because the law prohibits it, abogada ka ba talaga?  When the funds of the CCT is not appropriated for a specific purpose like your “alleged Anti Epal gimmick” that is a criminal act which constitutes technical malversation and Malversation is a corrupt practice pure and simple.

  • $20722540

    this is funny!  dswd implementing an anti-epal campaign eh ang mga taga palasyo ay mga epal mismo…sinong susunod niyan sila nga yong epal.  mga epal tigilan na ninyo yan buti ipakain o ibigay ninyo na lang yan sa mga mahihirap at mga bata sa kalsada.  mas maraming mahirap kasi masdumami ang mga corrupt…sa pagiisip at bulsa.

  • KappaPhiPhi

    the money meant for cct was loaned for dole out to the really needy families. the taxpayers will shoulder the burden on this. how many families are to be sacrificed for this anti epal campaign? syempre, epal = non l p supporters.

  • Philcruz

    The intention is good but why spend P10M when they can easily just regularly remind the public and the politicians about this issue through their regular press conferences for free. This can be done weekly. And each week they can announce which politicians have been caught exploiting this anti-epal  policy.

    • http://www.facebook.com/blarmey Carlos Garchitorena

      Good point. But it’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation. Esp with “And each week they can announce which politicians have been caught exploiting this anti-epal  policy.”, the DSWD will just be criticized as an attack dog against anti-Admin.

      Meanwhile, I am an advocate of social networks as it is a more significant use of communication. Press releases are still limited. Just look at how traditional media is leaning on SNs big time to circulate already-run news bits.

  • ARIKUTIK

    Si Garcia ng Cebu ay sinuspende ni Boy AB kasi malapit na ang eleksiyon, nag “Malversion of fund” daw. Ang CCT charity fund ng DSWD ay ginamit sa election pang anti Epal daw, whatever  basta Related sa election. Maliwanag pa sa sikat ng araw na nag Malversion of fund si Soliman pero sinuportahan ng Malacanang of Boy AB. Katwiran ay OK daw gamitin ang CCT fund for election purpose. Utak Penoy talaga, walang sinusunod na batas.

  • Fulpol

    next, DSWD will allocate fund for “intelligence”…

  • lostRunes

    Wow P10.5 million information campaign to people who without a second’s hesitation would sell their votes to the same politicians? That is sick. Hindi nga ma account yung pera ng CCT tapos gagamitin ito para sa mga hindi balwarte ng mga LP.

    My taxes go to this corrupt program by the Aquino government. Rewarding lazy people with money from hard-working people WILL NEVER BE RIGHT! They would just use the money to play lotto or jueteng, or just give the ATM to loan sharks.

    “What we are trying to safeguard against is that the program becomes a
    tool for non  LP politicians.We don’t want that to happen,’’ is what she wants to say.

    P 10.5 million? really? paano nila gagawin yon? flyers? libo libong papel na di binabasa? campaign ads sa TV? Wag niyo kami lokohin malacanang

  • concern_netizen

    10 million is a small amount to pay to initiate campaign against EPALs.  If LP will benefit from this campaign, then perhaps rightly so because they do not resort to epal politics.  Just look around, do you see any Noynoy billboards?  Do you see him take credit for government spent funds?  A 10 million campaign against expensive, shameless epal billboards is money well-spent.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3QBMYPCCPWL5IDWF55BTBVWSAE UPLB-2008-3****

      anti-fool proof: we can see noynoy billboards, but it’s not like these were initiated by his camp. at the greatest, maybe some sipsip liberal party member.

  • PepingCo

    Why not ask DSWD to start with senatorial candidates that are doing premature campaigning on tv? Mga epal din ang mga iyon! Criticize Cynthia Villar, JV Ejercito, Grace Llamanzares, Riza Hontiveros, Bam Aquino, Richard Gordon, etc.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3QBMYPCCPWL5IDWF55BTBVWSAE UPLB-2008-3****

      that’s not their mandate, to quote from what the communist este dissident says.

      • PepingCo

        Yun na nga! Hindi nga nila mandate kaya sila sa DSWD ang ume-epal! Bwahaha

    • Edward Castro

      nakalimutan mo si binay

      • PepingCo

        Agree! Basta hindi pumapasok sa top 12 sa surveys, sigurado may epal advertisement

  • Albert Einstien

    tama yan ANTI-EPAL ng DSWD…kaso si pnoy kaya nyo ba..di ba CREDIT GRAB nya yung 7% GDP ..e mga OFW’s at BPO naman yun nag-palago hindi naman sya… KULELELAT nga ang pnoy admin sa FDI e..pabigat kung baga……..tama DSWD..sa ANTI-EPAL

  • boldyak

    anti epal (CREDIT GRABBER) ….CCT program ba started three years ago lang?…hmmm..look who’s talking…haha

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002207384387 Andrei Mendoza

    taena itong si casino, walang ginawa kundi ang umapela eh, hindi mo alam kung ano talaga ang pakay nito sa mundo eh. numero unong laging sasalungat, pero ni wala pang nagawang buti sa pinas kundi ang mang-gulo.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DKHID3EEHTG27U5JXRIIUVKXQA Jose Rizal

    The “Anti-Epal Campaign” of DSWD is an EPAL (Credit Grabbing) campaign itself…that would benefit Noynoy’s political candidates by riding on in it and saying “yes”/”agree” to it’s funding, itself…wherein, NO WAY, that the this is a MANDATE OF THE DSWD.
    Obserbahan niyong mabuti kung gaano na tayo ka-stupido sa pananaw ng isang abnoy sa malacanan…
    Hahahahahahahaha!  Matatalino daw ang mga Pinoy, pero nabola lang ng isang abnoy.
    Hahahahahahahaha!

  • manong_edwin

    To whom this anti-epal campaign directed or addressed to?  if its intended target are the politicians ay talagang nagsasayang lang ng pera ang DSWD…kailan na ba tinablan ng ganyang mga campaign ang ating mga pulitiko?….and besides our politicians have a lot tricks in their sleeves which they can use para hindi matawag na EPAL ang kanilang pagpaki-alam sa 4Ps..! Mas may pakinabang ang PhP 10.5 M kung gagamitin na lang sa supplemental feeding ng mga malnourished children.

  • Your_King

    The CCT has some big problems and the elections is looking out to be the same as previous years…full of violence, shady activities, illegal acts & threats, and cheating. What happened to all of Aquino’s promises of change?

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