Doleout plan a failure – solon

Children of indigent families living in Baseco, Tondo, Manila, ask for a stub that entitles them to a free meal at a Korean Feeding Center in the area Tuesday, January 31.

Children of indigent families living in Baseco, Tondo, Manila, ask for a stub that entitles them to a free meal at a Korean Feeding Center in the area Tuesday, January 31.

— A lawmaker Tuesday said the recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey indicating increased hunger is proof that the Aquino administration’s Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program is a failure.

Based on the latest SWS survey conducted on December 3-7, the number of Filipino families that claimed they experienced involuntary hunger increased to 4.5 million from 4.3 million last September.

The number of hungry families increased despite the government spending P13,093,184,200 in cash grant to poor households as of December 2011 as part of the CCT program.

With this development, Gabriela Women’s Partylist Rep. Luz Ilagan said: “It is high time for the Aquino administration to rethink its Conditional Cash Transfer program and in its stead, implement a more sustainable poverty alleviation program that will address the growing hunger and poverty among Filipinos.”

She, along with Minority Leader Danilo Suarez and Rep. Mitos Magsaysay, called for an end to “too much politics and division” purportedly perpetuated by the current administration in a bid to smokescreen the dismal economic performance of the government.

Suarez and Magsaysay said the 3.7 growth in GDP, which is nearly just half of the growth rate posted in 2010, is a glaring indication that President Benigno S. Aquino III failed to meet the expectations of the public.

In a statement, Magsaysay said that with the Aquino government too pre-occupied with its bid to gain political mileage by persecuting known foes, there is little chance the country’s economic position will improve.

“It is very alarming, considering that the growth rate did not just fall but dropped to half of what the country has posted in 2011. It would be tall order for the government’s economic team to catch up and regain the losses but with all this political turmoil besetting the Philippines,” she said.

Magsaysay said that while the government is at liberty to go after those whom it believes to have committed wrongdoings against the state, there should be a balanced approach in handling the affairs of the country.

“The President should look at the bigger picture and not simply be obsessed over one aspect. As a result of his nearsightedness, prices of gasoline and electricity, which is a major concern for both businesses and regular consumers have increased unchecked,” the opposition stalwart added.

Ilagan said poverty and hunger surveys should help guide Malacañang and the DSWD in the creation of its proposed budget for 2013. The budget call for 2013 has officially commenced and various departments are expected to submit their proposal for the 2013 budget in the first quarter of this year.

The party-list solon further said that it has been four years since the CCT was first implemented under the Arroyo administration, yet this has not resulted in any significant improvement in the lives of poor Filipino families.

“The undeniable fact remains that more Filipinos are poor. The Aquino government should cut if not totally forego spending for the CCT. Let us stop wasting billions in taxpayers’ money for a failed anti-poverty program. Instead, this should be realigned to the delivery of direct social services such as health, housing and education,” she said.

According to her, in 2009, the National Statistical Coordination Board said that 26.5 million Filipinos survive on less than P41 per day.

She noted that this data further increased to 27.6M in 2010. Late last year, methodologies in the computation of the poverty rate were conveniently adjusted thus the poverty rate was pegged at 26.5 percent which translates to 23.1 million poor Filipinos.



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