MANILA -- President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III on Thursday lashed back at former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo following her opposition on P21-billion proposed budget for conditional cash transfer (CCT) program.

“Sana lahat tayo mas propersyunal sa trabaho, parang may halong personal yun," Aquino said in an ambush interview in Rizal following Arroyo’s interpellation in Congress disclosing for the first time her thoughts about the programs of the new administration.

The President pointed out that debate on the plenary should be based on merit and not on personality issues.

Despite criticisms, he remains confident that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) would be able to defend the additional budget of the CCT.

He also expects his allies in Congress to favor the expanded program, which started during the Arroyo administration.

President Arroyo earlier called expanded CCT program as “irresponsible, ambitious and untimely”. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)