P63 B sought for CCT program
MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino is seeking nearly P63 billion for next year for his administration’s conditional cash transfer (CCT) program for the poorest of the poor.
Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Soliman told the House appropriations committee that of her agency’s proposed P74.040-billion 2014 budget, P62.6 billion would be for CCT.
She said the CCT funding represents an increase of P18.4 billion over this year’s P44.3-billion level.
“We will target 3.4 million families, plus 18-year-olds,” she said, adding that the CCT is “a human investment program for children through health and education.”
Not all of the P62.6 billion, however, would go to financial assistance to the poor.
Soliman’s briefing showed that there would be P5.4 billion in “implementation cost and bank fees.”
Of those expenses, P3.4 billion would be for “personal services” or salaries, P261.2 million for “cost of service,” P454.5 million for training, P140.3 million for advocacy materials, P216.3 million for “monitoring/evaluation,” P321.6 million for administration expenses, and P80 million for capital (equipment) outlay.
Some P550 million would be for bank fees.
CCT beneficiaries get their financial assistance from Land Bank branches throughout the country.
Some congressmen questioned the huge amount set aside for implementation cost, saying part of it should be saved to augment the portion for cash dole-outs.
The DSWD budget also includes P4.3 billion (an increase of P1.3 billion from this year’s funding) for the agency’s feeding project, P2.4 billion for “sustainable livelihood” program (an increase of P642.3 million), P3.1 billion for social pension for indigent senior citizens (an increase of P1.6 billion), and P100 million for “national household targeting system for poverty reduction,” a euphemism for a poverty survey.