November 9, 2010
Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan today says that the government’s P21 billion cash transfer fund is a cornerstone of PNoy’s poverty alleviation program.
“The President needs our support in order for him to fulfill his anti-poverty campaign promise. The CCT budget is precisely aimed at doing just that. Hence, we believe that we should support the CCT program as is.”
The House of Representatives passed the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s budget for the cash transfer program without cuts. The bill is set to be deliberated upon the upper chamber this week.
Pangilinan also says that he will observe closely how the program will be implemented by DSWD.
“We will need to come up with long-term solutions to alleviate poverty in the country. For now, we must follow through on the promise of improving the lives of our countrymen, and the CCT program is an important first step in addressing poverty head on.”
According to “Conditional Cash Transfer Programs: An Effective Tool for Poverty Alleviation?”, a 2008 study by Hyun H. Son published by the Asian Development Bank: “Conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs are increasingly perceived as an effective tool for poverty alleviation. CCT programs have been highly successful in Latin American countries, and are increasingly perceived as a magic bullet for poverty reduction.”
The study cited successful CCT programs in Mexico, Brazil, Nicaragua, Honduras, Jamaica, Bangladesh, and Chile, saying, “While there is no guarantee that the success of CCT programs in some countries can be replicated in others, they provide an important example that can yield an array of good practices from which other countries can learn.” Some of the issues that were identified to be crucial in the success of a CCT program are the following: “Cash transfers without conditionality will not be sufficient to increase human capital outcomes significantly” and “Good governance and political support at high levels for the program play an important role in implementing a CCT program.”
According to Pangilinan, the implementation of the CCT program will put to the test the government’s mantra of “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap”, saying that a properly implemented program that is not tainted by corruption will be the country’s first step toward addressing the pervasive poverty problem.