Senators laud DSWD for successful implementation of CCT program

September 29, 2011 9:41 pm 

MANILA, Sept. 28 -– Senator Franklin Drilon is confident that he can defend the proposed P39.4 billion budget of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for 2012 as several senators lauded the ‘initial successes’ in the implementation of the Cash Conditional Transfer (CCT) program.

”So far, after two years of this administration, we can see in our initial assessment that at least there are initial successes of the CCT program,” Drilon said after Monday’s initial hearing of the Senate committee on finance which he chairs on the DSWD budget.

During the Senate hearing, Drilon learned from DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman that the number of beneficiaries of the CCT program has already hit 2.3 million households as of September.

”By the end of this year, the number is expected to reach up to three million,” Drilon said.

Soliman informed the panel that more than 155,900 households have been declared not legitimate beneficiaries and therefore, removed from the list.

”These are not ghost beneficiaries but they have been delisted either due to error-type or some local officials influenced their inclusion. Right now, we are confident that we have already cleaned the list and these 2.3 million household beneficiaries are all legitimate,” Soliman said.

Drilon commended the DSWD for doing a good job in the implementation of the CCT program which entitled a household beneficiary of as much as P1,400 cash per month. The amount is broken down to P300 per child up to three children aged zero to 14 years and P500 for mother.

”Generally, the senators are satisfied with the way this program has been implemented,” Drilon said.

Both Senators Edgardo Angara and Panfilo Lacson supported the proposed budget which is P18 billion higher compared to the current year’s budget of P21.1 billion for the implementation of CCT program.

”Senators Angard and Lacson supported the program and their assessment, the program is succeeding,” Drilon said.

According to Drilon, the CCT program which started in 2008 and envisioned to last up to 2020, received commendation from the World Bank.

”The WB also have made its finding that after three years, the program has shown positive impact on the beneficiaries and conditionality have helped improve the education and health of the children. These are the five million kids covered,” Drilon said.

Drilon expressed optimism that he can defend the CCT program budget in the plenary.

”We must emphasize that this program is not strictly a poverty alleviation program but bridge towards alleviating poverty by investing to education and health of the children,” Drilon said.

The Senate finance committee is set to continue the discussion of the DSWD budget on Friday. (PNA)

DCT/jfm

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