Not all of gov’t dole went to truly poor–ADB
The House of Representatives will look into an Asian Development Bank (ADB) report that said that nearly a third of the P62 billion allocated to the government’s dole program did not actually go to the poorest of the poor.
Minority leaders Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez and Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said they would use the coming 2015 budget hearings to make Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman explain the ADB findings that P19 billion out of the P62 billion earmarked for the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program, or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, went to beneficiaries who were above the poverty standards set under the program.
In its report issued last week, the ADB said: “Improvements are needed in the program’s targeting system to reduce an estimated leakage rate of 30 percent.”
In a statement, Soliman said the ADB report was based on 2009 data and remedial measures had already been put in place.
Congress will begin budget deliberations next month with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) proposing an increase in the CCT budget, the coverage of which has expanded five times from 800,000 in the Arroyo administration to 4.4 million in the Aquino administration.
The CCT program is exclusively for Filipino families belonging to the poorest of the poor who are eligible for doles of P1,400 a week for five years in exchange for their commitment to undergo health programs and make their children stay in school.
In its statement, the DSWD quoted ADB Philippine country director Richard Bolt as saying, “I wish to clarify that the figure in the ‘Learning Lessons’ publication of ADB’s Independent Evaluation Department is sourced from a 2013 study done by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, which is based on 2009 data and earlier poverty targeting practices. It is unfortunate that this reference was not clear.”–With Julie M. Aurelio
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