Martin Romualdez Seeks to Reform, Expand CCT Program | Inquirer News
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Martin Romualdez Seeks to Reform, Expand CCT Program

/ 06:00 AM April 11, 2016

KYC

MANILA, Philippines – Once elected to the senate, Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez seeks to institutionalize the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program into law, and expand its benefits to uplift the living situations of poor families and help break the never-ending cycle of poverty in the country.

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The CCT program began under the Arroyo administration and is being continued by the current administration as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), which benefits 4.5 million families, and which according to studies has been successful in keeping poor children healthy and in school.

Romualdez hopes that an institutionalized CCT program will benefit more poor families nationwide.

Romualdez hopes that an institutionalized CCT program will benefit more poor families nationwide.

Learning from lessons his home province experienced in the rebuilding and recovery efforts post super-typhoon Yolanda, Romualdez believes that the success in the administration of programs is affected by abuse of discretion and subjectivity in the Implementation phase. He is mindful that direct benefits should redound to the improvement of the quality of the life of impoverished, vulnerable, and disaster-stricken Filipinos.

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Thus, the lawmaker believes that the CCT program needs to be turned into a law that streamlines implementation, so that more deserving families and more people will benefit from it. “Every family which qualifies for the program should be covered. Wala nang palakasan. Every child of poor Filipino families must stay and finish school, be kept healthy and given a chance at a better life,” said the lawmaker. Romualdez believes that the CCT’s benefits should be expanded to account for inflation vis-à-vis decent living standards to answer the growing education, health, and nutrition needs of the poor. At present, each family enrolled in the program receives a maximum grant of P150,000 yearly. In Romualdez proposed CCT bill, he seeks to expand each household’s health grant from P6,000 to P9,600 per year. Likewise, it seeks to increase the yearly educational grant from P9,000 to a maximum P27,000 for each family with up to three children. In total, the expanded CCT shall grant each family a maximum of P46,200 per year. “The income of the poor, be it chronic or transient, has to be augmented to an average [monthly] amount of P4,300 for them to get out of poverty,” said Romualdez. “Doing so will surely reduce the high poverty incidence in the country.”

If and when Martin Romualdez is elected to a Senate seat, he vows to fight for and work to turn his proposed expanded CCT program into law, in order to “break the intergenerational cycle of poverty through investment in human capital and improved delivery of services to the poor, particularly education, health and nutrition.” The Leyte congressman adds, “It will strive to achieve the advancement of entire families towards a better life.”

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TAGS: Know Your Candidate, Martin Romualdez, Philippine elections, Philippine elections 2016
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