MANILA, August 16, 2014—A high-ranking church official believes the government must push for an “external evaluation” before it decides on whether to continue or to scrap the much-battered Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, who chairs the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Public Affairs (CBCP-ECPA), explained that mere opinions and speculations will not do in ruling against what the Filipino masses refer to as “Four P’s” (“Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program”) without submitting it first to an empirical study.
“It needs an external evaluation, not mere opinions. Parameters should be laid down in order to properly assess the program. Ideally, a private foreign body should undertake this study to ensure objectivity since it involves a huge amount of money,” shared Pabillo.
Leyte Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and other members of the Lower House had earlier rejected requests to increase the CCT funds in the proposed 2015 national budget amounting to P64.7 billion.
Romualdez reasoned that people must be taught to earn money, not to depend on the government’s help.
In a previous CBCPNews report, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz lambasted the CCT program, saying it promotes a “culture of dependency” among the Filipino poor.
The former CBCP head pointed out that “dole-out” program like CCT, while it ostensibly “relieves the neediest, actually injures the beneficiaries’ dignity and self-worth, because they are conditioned to believe it is only right to regularly collect money they did not earn.”
Cruz stressed it teaches people the “wrong values in life” even as it offers corrupt politicians a chance to steal and the means to manipulate future voters.
According to DSWD, Four P’s covers 144 cities, 1,483 towns, and 80 provinces nationwide, benefitting as many as four million Filipino families. (Raymond A. Sebastián)