Author Topic: DAANG MATUWID UPDATE: DSWD cut disaster aid budget in favor of CCT  (Read 824 times)

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DAANG MATUWID UPDATE: DSWD cut disaster aid budget in favor of CCT
CCT ate up most of DSWD budget, including disaster aid -- Social Watch

MANILA, Philippines -- The huge amount allotted for the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program has left the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) with meager budget to aid victims in times of disasters, according to Social Watch Philippines.

For 2012, DSWD appropriations show that 80 percent of the agency’s P49.359 billion programs budget has been allotted to the CCT program, while all other programs have to split the remaining 20 percent or P9.914 billion, including assistance for victims of disasters and natural calamities.

In particular, the budget for disaster victims, amounting to P48.043 million is less than one-tenth of one percent of the total budget of the department, according to Prof. Marivic Raquiza, co-convenor of the citizen watchdog, which also organized the Alternative Budget Initiative (ABI).

Raquiza lamented that only a small budget was allotted for disaster victims from the DSWD budget despite the onslaught of typhoons in the country every year, the latest of which was Sendong, which killed at least 1,000 people in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities.

“Such meager budget undermined the capacity of government to mitigate the impact of destructive typhoons on the lives of the poor,” she said.

She said that because the CCT enjoys the lion’s share of the budget, all other programs of the department have to make do with what’s left in the budget, such as support for other important segments of the poor such as Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), senior citizens (SC), individuals and families in especially difficult circumstances (EDCs), victims of calamities and disasters, trafficked persons, among others.

One of the flagship programs of the Aquino administration, the CCT benefits the poorest of the poor families by giving each family a maximum of P1,400 in monthly subsidy.

Raquiza said that during the budget deliberations, the ABI social protection cluster had proposed a one percent increase of the agency budget for the other programs that respond to the needs of specific sectors, which received minimal assistance in the DSWD budget in the last few years.

Overall, the ABI proposed a budget of P2.96154 billion, or P493.59 million for each of the following programs: 1) Assistance to victims of disasters and natural calamities, 2) Assistance to PWDs and SCs, 3) Recovery and Reintegration of Trafficked Persons, 4) Implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act (RA9344), 5) PAMANA Program for IDPs-Livelihood, and 6) Comprehensive Project for Street Families and IPs. In contrast these programs will receive amounts way below the ABI proposal.

But Raquiza said that many of the ABI recommendations for education, agriculture, and environment “were totally ignored.”

Social Watch also called for a thorough assessment and review of the CCT program to determine its impact on the people given that huge amount is poured into it. | Your smart guide to money matters and entrepreneurship.

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