Cash-transfer beneficiaries misidentified

Published by rudy Date posted on March 30, 2011

BENEFICIARIES of the P21-billion Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Program had been misidentified by the government, a House leader said on Tuesday.

House Assistant Majority Leader Karlo Nograles of Davao City disclosed that the misidentification happened because the Department of Social Welfare and Development used surveyors from outside a city or province to identify the beneficiaries of the program.

The CCT is a three year-old poverty reduction program, which provides
cash assistance to the poorest of the poor, but the beneficiaries have to comply with certain conditions that promote human development such as education and health.

The conditions include: children 3 years old to 5 years old must attend day care/pre-school at least 85 percent of the time; children 6 years old to 14 years old must attend school at least 85 percent of the time; children zero to 5 years old must get regular health check-up and vaccinations; children 6 years old to 14 years old must undergo deworming sessions every six months; parents must attend responsible parenthood sessions; and pregnant women must get pre- and post-natal care and be attended to during childbirth by a skilled/trained birth attendant.

The surveyors, Nograles said, are hosted by barangay (village) captains in their homes, which make the surveyors beholden to local officials.

“Therefore, these people conducting the survey would be compelled to follow the barangay captain in identifying the poorest of the poor,” he pointed out.

In bolstering his claims, Nograles cited a recent hearing of the House Committee on Health on universal PhilHealth coverage, which revealed that the Social Welfare and the Interior and Local Government departments have separate listings of the program beneficiaries.

The Local Government department identified 6 million Filipinos belonging to the poorest of the poor, while the Social Welfare department classified 4 million Filipinos as belonging to that social class.

“There is confusion here. Why such discrepancy?” Nograles asked.

He urged the Social Welfare and the Interior and Local Government departments to submit their lists of the program beneficiaries to Congress so that lawmakers can determine who among the beneficiaries actually belong to the poorest provinces. –Llanesca T. Panti, Reporter, Manila Times

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