Gov’t aid empowers poor – DSWD

Posted by: root
Posted Date: Nov 18, 2011

By Tara Yap, Manila Bulletin | November 18, 2011 (Friday) | link to original article

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo, Philippines — Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has clarified that the Aquino administration’s conditional cash transfer (CCT) program is a tool for empowering the poor and not a dole out.

“This is to ensure that children of poor families can have a fighting chance,” said Soliman as she addressed representatives of civil society organizations (CSOs) from the Visayas during the DSWD Visayas Cluster Forum on CCT held in Iloilo City recently.

The CCT program, also known as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, aims to alleviate the quality of life of impoverished Filipinos by giving cash grants for health, nutrition and education for poor families who have children 14 years old and younger.

According to the latest survey surveys of Social Weather Stations (SWS), 10.4 million Filipino families consider themselves to be poor.

“We need to break the inter-generational poverty cycle and empower these children so they will know how to read, write, and count and not become victims,” Soliman emphasized.

As of August, approximately P9 billion has been released for more than 2 million family beneficiaries.

Soliman also reminded the pivotal role of civil society in the public-private partnership (PPP) of poverty-reduction as well as expanding their involvement and enhancing approaches for better mobilization of anti-poverty projects.

The forum was also supported by the World Bank and Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). It gathered “views and assessment of CSOs on policies governing the implementation of CCT.”

Aside from Soliman, resource speakers included Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Florencio Abad, former DSWD Secretary Esperanza Cabral, Dennis Arroyo of Social Weather Station (SWS), National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) Secretary Joel Rocamora, and Tanya Hamada of InciteGov.

Meanwhile in Dumaguete City, Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria has assured members of at least five small-time entrepreneurs in the city that the local government will find other venues to ease their current living conditions.

The mayor met with the groups Wednesday afternoon during a consultation forum during which he disclosed that livelihood assistance shall be given them through the city’s sectoral desks.

The groups that dialogued with the mayor included the Federation of Urban Poor, Federation of Dumaguete Motorcycle Operators and Drivers Association, Women’s Organizations, Dumaguete Recycle Association and Dumaguete Ambulant Vendors, said City Information Officer Steve Gabriel.


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