CASH DOLE-OUT SCHEME REVAMP URGED
• August 24, 2014
• Written by Ryan Ponce Pacpaco
• Published in Top Stories
TWO House leaders yesterday asked Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman to overhaul the cash dole-out scheme for the poor because of alleged irregularities such as double entries in the database or payroll of the beneficiaries.
Opposition Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and Negros Occidental Rep. Albee Benitez said Soliman should once and for all address the long time problem on the release of funds through the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
Romualdez, head of the House independent bloc, was disappointed that the CCT budget under the 2015 P2.606-trillion General Appropriations Bill (GAB) was increased to P64.7-billion from this year’s P62.6 billion despite so many alleged irregularities in the implementation of the program.
“The government’s dole-out program next year should be downsized instead of expanding it in light of the continued failure of concerned government departments to address the complaints of irregularities in its implementation,” Romualdez pointed out.
“No less than the Commission on Audit (CoA) had exposed before that the CCT program was marred with double entries in the database of the DSWD. With this, excess transfer of payroll funds and overpayment of grants have been happening at the expense of public funds,” Romualdez stressed.
For his part, Benitez, a stalwart of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) and leader of the House Visayan bloc, said the DSWD should address the duplication of names of household beneficiaries.
“The double entries have been validated before and we should address this so that we can further ensure that the aid goes to the intended beneficiaries,” Benitez stressed.
Benitez lamented the information he got that the process of purging the list of beneficiaries would entail a 20 percent cost from the CCT budget compared to a 10 percent loss by just allowing the implementation of the existing list.
“The problem is if we would be strict about it, we should make sure that it is delivered to the proper intended beneficiaries even if it would entail a cost. According to a study, twenty percent of the amount (CCT budget) will go to that (cleansing of names) kaya sinasabi nila baka naman kung puwede gawin na lamang dito ay shotgun approach para ang wastage ay ten percent lang,” said Benitez.
“Parang hindi bale nang ten percent kaysa twenty percent na gagastusin ang mawala basta sisiguruhin ko lang na aabot sa beneficiaries,” Benitez said, adding that the administrative budget to correct the CCT list was not enough.
Nevertheless, Benitez said the DSWD should find ways to rectify its list “to ensure a judicious spending of people’s money.”
Earlier, Romualdez asked the Aquino administration to disclose the savings generated from the CCT program in the last four years as he proposed that the budget for government’s dole-out program next year should be downsized.
Romualdez said the Aquino administration should use the funds to train Filipinos in enhancing their skills, adding the government should continuously provide jobs for the poor.
“Let us teach our people how to catch fish and not to depend on government’s resources,” Romualdez stressed