DoF: Gov’t has enough funds for CCT program
Malacañang has more than enough funds for its conditional cash transfer (CCT) program, given the savings realized through sound management of the country’s debts, Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima said.
Purisima said that from January to April, the government saved P22.4 billion from lower interest payments.
“Interest payments dropped 18 percent during the period to just P102.15 billion from P124.56 billion last year,” he said.
The finance chief added that the savings were more than enough to fund the government’s CCT program, which was allocated a budget of P21.9 billion this year.
“The drop in interest payments can be traced to liability management programs conducted during the last months of 2010—such as bond swaps and the issuance of 25-year bonds,” Purisima explained.
The lower interest payments made trimmed government expenses during the period, he said.
In the four months to April, disbursements decreased by 11.6 percent to P461.35 billion from P521.87 billion.
“For April alone, state spending declined 8.03 percent to P112.1 billion from P121.9 billion year on year,” Purisima said.
Interest payments during the month declined by 27 percent to P11.43 billion from P15.65 billion a year ago.
Last week, Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad said 81.6 percent of the 2.34 million families targeted for the P21-billion conditional cash transfer(CCT) program had been identified, belying doubts that the fund might not be used fully.
“At the pace the 4Ps [Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program] is proceeding, all 2.34 million indigent household-beneficiaries may already receive their cash grants as early as September,” Abad said.
He added that all targeted beneficiaries would have been registered by the end of June.
The budget chief said that as of the end of April—four months since the program kicked off—1.9 million indigent household-beneficiaries, or 81.6 percent of the 2.34-million target for 2011, had already been registered.
Citing data from the Department of Social Work and Development, he said 1.47 million households were expected to have started receiving their cash subsidies.
“That’s 77 percent of the registered households and 63 percent of the target,” he said.
Under the CCT component of 4Ps, indigent household-beneficiaries receive a monthly stipend of up to P1,400, or P500 per mother and P300 per child up to three.
This is on condition that mothers from these families should undergo pre-natal and other maternal care check-ups, and that children attend 85 percent of their classes and that they are immunized.