MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Budget and Management is preparing a budget execution strategy for an additional P21 billion worth of conditional cash transfer (CCT) program to be distributed by the Departments of Social Welfare and Development, Education and Health.
Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad said yesterday the DBM and the three agencies have been holding budget execution coordination meetings to ensure that spending on both the demand and supply sides of the CCT are property executed.
However, Abad said the CCT program is just one of the programs of the Aquino administration.
He said there will be other social services strategies such as those that would aid the government in meeting its Millennium Development Goals.
“The cash transfers are just one side of the Aquino CCT program. Through the 2011 Reform Budget, we are investing in a whole package of social services to reduce poverty and meet our Millennium Development Goals,” he said.
The Aquino administration earlier announced the expansion of its CCT program to P21 billion to benefit 2.4 million indigent families by end-2011.
Under the CCT program, the government provides a monthly stipend of P500 to mothers plus P300 per child up to three on condition that they keep their children in school, that they receive immunization and that the mothers avail of pre-natal and other check-ups.
In terms of budget execution, the DepEd will receive the biggest budgetary increase in a decade of P32.3 billion to P207.3 billion.
“This increase will be invested in closing critical resource gaps in education, such as in the construction of 16,972 more classrooms, creation of 15,000 more teaching positions, production of 32.3 million quality textbooks among others,” Abad said.
The government’s funding for the Health Facilities Enhancement Program of the Health department, meanwhile, has increased by more than twice to P7.1 billion, including P5.7 billion for basic emergency obstetrical and neonatal care facilities the budget department also said.
Funding for the immunization program has also increased by almost 300 percent to P2.5 billion to benefit 2.5 million children.
“Budget execution coordination meetings are also being held with agencies that implement infrastructure projects to frontload these during the first half in order to take advantage of the good weather. Aside from DepEd and the Health department, these agencies are the Departments of Public Works and Highways, Transportation and Communication, and Agriculture, “Abad also said. -Iris C. Gonzales (The Philippine Star)