Cash transfer budget up for Senate plenary debate-A A +A
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
SENATOR Franklin Drilon expressed confidence that his colleagues will approve the P55.98-billion budget of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for next year, majority of which will be used to expand the conditional cash transfer program for poor households.
This developed after the Senate finance committee decided to submit for plenary deliberations the budget of the DSWD, one of the government agencies tasked to implement poverty alleviation projects.
Drilon said the proposed DSWD budget is 15.11 percent higher than its current appropriation of P48.63 billion, while the CCT allocation will increase by 12.2 percent to P44.26 billion from P39.45 billion this year.
The increase will cover an additional 700,000 household beneficiaries in 2013 reaching the target of 3.8 million from 3.1 million in 2012. One third of the estimated 97 million Filipinos are living below the poverty line, according to government data in 2006.
During the hearing on Tuesday, the department also moved to cut down the administrative cost of CCT from 10 percent to 8.67 percent or equivalent to P3.83 billion in 2013.
This resulted in savings of P440 million, which will be used to cover 70,000 more families in 2013, said Drilon, who also sits as finance committee chairperson. In 2012, the administrative cost is at P3.5 billion.
CCT or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) provides cash grants to beneficiaries to be used for health and nutrition and for educational expenses, noted Drilon. The beneficiaries were identified through the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction.
It provides a monthly stipend composed of up to P1,400, on condition that they send or keep their children in school, that their children receive immunization and that mothers avail of pre-natal and other check-ups. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)