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Poe vows to continue, expand CCT program to include indigent seniors

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 03:01 PM February 26, 2016
grace poe

Presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe-Llamanzares. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/LYN RILLON

Senator Grace Poe is pushing for the expansion of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program to cover indigent seniors, and to include a livelihood component in this government’s anti-poverty program.

Poe said her “Gobyernong may Puso” would not only continue the successful CCT program but they would also strengthen it to cover seniors and near-poor families who are vulnerable to disasters.

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“Sinabi nila na kapag kami raw ay nanalo, hindi na matutuloy ito. Hindi po totoo iyan. Ang gusto namin sa 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) ay [isama] iyong mga senior citizens na walang trabaho at napakahirap ay dapat masama rin,” she said when she spoke before the La Union Vibrant Women’s Inc. (LUVWI) Thursday.

They said that if we won, we won’t continue this. That’s not true. What we wnat for the 4Ps is to include the jobless senior citizens and those who are very poor.)

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READ: Poe vows to continue cash dole-out to the poor under 4Ps

The senator, in a statement on Friday, noted that there were 5.9 million Filipinos aged 60 and above in 2012 based on the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). She said UNFPA also projects that by 2050, the population of senior citizens in the Philippines will grow to 23.63 million or 15 percent of the population.

The Philippine Statistics Authority, meanwhile, reported that in 2012, the poverty incidence among senior citizens was at 16 percent, which means that one in every six senior Filipinos is poor.

“Kung ako ay mabibigyan ng pagkakataon, gawin natin na ang inyong samahan ang maging behikulo para magkaroon tayo ng mas maraming livelihood programs,” Poe told members of LUVWI.

(If given the chance, let’s make your organization a vehicle to create more livelihood programs.)

The senator was in the province with running mate, Sen. Francis Escudero, and some senatorial bets running under their coalition, Partido Galing at Puso.

“Hindi kami namimili ng pulitika maging ikaw man ay sa administrasyon o oposisyon, kung ikaw ay mahirap at nangangailangan, kasama ka sa programa namin. Hindi po kami nang-uuri ng tao,” she said, in an earlier radio interview when asked about her plans regarding the CCT.

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(We don not discriminate through politics, whether you are for the administration or the opposition, if you are poor and in need, you are included in our ptogram. We don’t classify people.)

Poe said she would increase the budget for CCT, which has an allocation of P62.665 billion this year. The government’s CCT scheme covers some 4.35 million household beneficiaries.

READ: Grace Poe to continue 4Ps, if elected

She said even her mother, actress Susan Roces, noted that the aging population in the Philippines seems to have been left behind as the pension is too small to cover medical needs.

Social pension for indigent senior citizens is at P500 per month as provided for by the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010. Indigent senior citizens refer to those who are sick or have disabilities and have no income or pension from other agencies.

Poe also explained that initially, only seniors aged 77 and above were receiving pension but the law was amended in 2014 to cover seniors aged 65 and above. Last year, the government allocated P5.962 billion to benefit 939,609 indigent senior citizens.

“Kailangan talaga kung sino ang magpapatuloy nitong administrasyon ay nakatutok sa mga pangangailangan na ganyan para hindi na kayo nag-iisip pa kung papaano na inyong mga maintenance, ‘yung inyong pangangailangan,” she said.

(It is really necessary that whoever continues the administration is focused on such needs so that you won’t have to worry about maintenance [medicines] and your needs.) CDG

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TAGS: 4Ps, Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), Elections 2016, Grace Poe, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Partido Galing at Puso, Poverty, senior citizens
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