MANILA - The system may not be perfect but President Aquino still believes the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program is doing much to help the poorest families in the country.
Critics have been calling for an end to the CCT due to supposed abuses during elections and allegations it has failed to address poverty.
The President said one way to improve the CCT program is to do a new survey on poverty incidence in the country.
He said the survey was one of the programs to be funded by the disbursement acceleration program before the DAP was scrapped.
Aquino said he will move to include an allocation in the 2014 supplemental budget that will fund the new survey.
"Sa poverty reduction, two and a half million Filipinos ang nawala sa latest data na nanggaling sa National Economic Development Authority (NEDA). Yung nagagamit ng pulitiko, hindi ko sasabihin na perpekto ang sistema pero ang basehan po ng kung sino ang ilalagay sa 4Ps ng programa nagmula sa isang study na tinaguriang National Household Targeting Survey kung saan sinusuri sino ba talaga ang nangagailangan at hindi," he said.
"Ngayon medyo luma na ang survey, 2009 kung di ako nagkakamali nagkaroon ng mungkahi na kailangan ireview ito o panibagong survey para makita kung sino ang nanatili o nadagdagan, etc. Inaprubahan natin iyan, ang problema lang popondahan ng DAP. Nabalewala ng Korte Suprema, nabinbin. Ngayon ihahain natin sa Kongreso na isama sa supplemental budget para sa 2014 para magawa yung study."
Launched in 2008, the conditional cash transfer program gives conditional cash grants to indigent families who have kids ages 14 years old and below. A P500 monthly cash grant is given for health and nutrition expenses while P300 monthly cash grant is given per child for educational expenses.
Only a maximum of 3 children per household are allowed to receive stipends, for a maximum total of P1,400 (about $30.76) a month for a household with at least 3 children. In return, beneficiaries are required to send their children to school, and the mothers must go for regular prenatal or postnatal care.
The CCT program has reached 4.1 million families. The Aquino administration is now targeting to reach five million families in the CCT for 2015.