Sotto backs ban on politicians participating in dole payouts
MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III backed a department’s order banning politicians and local officials from taking part in government activities.
“I concur. To avoid politicising government payouts,” Sotto said in a text message on Monday, reacting to a memorandum circular recently issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
In issuing the memo, the DILG warned that government programs such as the unconditional cash transfer (UCT) “could be used as a platform to advance their political interests.”
But even before the memo, Sotto and two of his colleagues in the Senate — Senators Panfilo Lacson and Gringo Honasan — have already thought of conducting a hearing to find out how the budget for the government’s 4Ps or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is being spent.
Sotto believes that an inquiry on the implementation of the 4Ps, also known as conditional cash transfer (CCT), was “in order to rationalize its operation.”
Asked what prompted them to push for the probe, the Senate leader said: “Firstly, where there is smoke, there is fire.”
“Secondly, other countries and international companies spend billions on research and development yet we appropriate a very measly amount to science and communications technology,” he said.
“So we want to find out how our DSWD and budget is being spent on cashouts,” Sotto added.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development is the agency tasked to implement the UCT and the 4Ps. /je
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