P2B more needed to cover CCT beneficiaries in 2011—DSWD
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) may need P2 billion more to cover the 2.3 million target beneficiaries this year under the agency’s conditional cash transfer (CCT) program.
During Tuesday’s hearing of the Senate finance committee and the oversight committee on public expenditures, DSWD Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman revealed that they started giving out cash way ahead of the original June schedule.
As of May 2011, Soliman said a total of P4.1 billion had been spent out of the P21.1 billion allocation for the CCT program. At least 1.6 million households, she said, benefited in the first six months of the program.
But because they started distributing cash ahead of the schedule, the DSWD chief said the government may need another P2 billion to service the 2.3 million households target for 2011.
“Just on the shortfall for this year, it’s P2 billion. And I must say that part of the reason for this is I will admit, we were conservative,” Soliman said during the hearing.
“Much question was asked about absorptive capacity so when we’re made to project our registration and eventually our ability to lead the program, we were looking at June as the starting point of giving out the cash. And it happened that the way systems were going with my colleagues in the field and the cooperation of the local government units that we were working with, the registration became faster than we projected and this is now the consequence your honor,” she said.
The agency’s “ultimate goal” is to cover 4.6 million households when the CCT program ends by 2013.