conditional cash transfer

Arroyo calls CCT— irresponsible

Former President and now Congresswoman Arroyo speaking on the House floor:

<blockquote>Arroyo, speaking on the floor for the first time and at times showing flashes of her temper, said she was not against the CCT, especially since her administration started it. But she was wary about scaling up the project in so short a time.

“I am not against increasing the CCT beneficiaries, but a sudden and massive increase by more than double its previous number seems both ambitious and untimely,” she said.

“It would be irresponsible to allocate a budget for a program that is not yet fully prepared. The details may look very nice on paper, but I’ve been there Mr. Speaker. The implementation is centrally not that simple,” she added.

Arroyo also lamented that the funding for the CCT came at the expense of other crucial projects. There were less funds for farm-to-market roads, state universities and colleges, the judiciary and Visayas and Mindanao, she pointed out.</blockquote>

The Inquirer further added:

<blockquote>

Arroyo also pointed out the absence of enough birthing facilities for pregnant women who would be beneficiaries of the CCT, adding that it was better to use the money to build more of them.

“My point is, isn’t it better, isn’t it wiser to put the money in birthing units where we see the need very glaringly rather than in such a big scale of CCT where we do not know, we are not confident, very far form confident, about the absorptive capacity whether it’s in the organization itself of the program or in the allied services?” she said.

Nava, for his part, said the DSWD was in constant consultation with the education and health departments for the CCT program, and that the local government units were better equipped to do their part.

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Aquino has previously defended the cash aid program.  The Cusp noted in a previous article, out of the woodwork:

<blockquote>In the Philippines, one of the greatest hindrances to growth among other things is the gaping divide between socio-economic groups. We are actually latecomers to the game. Most of Latin America has implemented some form of CCT to great success. It has been dubbed “the closest thing to a silver bullet” in the fight against poverty because it targets so many aspects of human capital deficiency. Perhaps the critics should try and find some other line of attack because this one simply does not work.</blockquote>

What do you think?