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President Aquino vows to intensify poverty reduction program
 

President Benigno S. Aquino III has vowed to intensify his administration’s poverty reduction program to lift the remaining 24.9 percent of the population out of poverty, especially with the implementation of the expanded conditional cash transfer (CCT) program this month.

Poverty reduction was among the key issues discussed by President Aquino in his fifth State of the Nation Address at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City on Monday, delivered before millions of Filipinos nationwide.

The President said that the P12.3-billion expanded CCT program aims to cover beneficiaries and help their children, aged up to 18 years old, complete their secondary education to give them better job opportunities.

Poverty incidence in the country has decreased by at least three percentage points in the past two years, according to the National Economic Development Authority, from 27.9 percent during the first quarter of 2012 to 24.9 percent in the same period of 2013.

President Aquino attributed this drop to the CCT program, which is implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, saying that his government will continue investing on its people through this particular measure.

“Ang three percentage points pong ito ay katumbas ng halos 2.5 milyon na Pilipinong nakaalpas na sa poverty line. Totoo namang dapat pagtuunan ng masusing pansin ang pinakamahihirap sa lipunan pero hindi tayo titigil diyan. Ngayong nadagdagan ang kakayahan natin, sinisikap nating hindi na manumbalik sa ilalim ng poverty line ang lahat ng nakaalpas na,” President Aquino said.

He said that a sound fiscal management carried out by his administration, beginning with the timely submission of the national budget that only focuses on the needs of the people every year, also helped the government achieve this goal.

The CCT, otherwise known as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, currently operates in 79 provinces, covering 1,484 municipalities and 143 cities in all 17 regions nationwide. It has 4,090,667 registered households nationwide as of last June 25. PND (hdc)
(full story - 07.28.14)


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