Gamblers, drug users among CCT beneficiaries – COA

Rappler.com
Malacañang says the audit report is 'unfair'

CCT budget for 2012 is P39-billion

MANILA, Philippines – Gamblers, drug users, and wealthy families were among the beneficiaries of the government’s Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program, a report by the Commission on Audit (COA) shows.

This is the result of COA’s random sampling in late 2010. COA auditors visited beneficiaries nationwide to personally evaluate and verify information about the beneficiaries. They covered most of country’s regions, except for Bicol, Eastern Visayas, and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

In one area, Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City, COA discovered the following undeserving beneficiaries:
– 46 enjoy residences in rent-free government properties.
– Four are reportedly into illegal drugs; 25 engaged in illegal gambling; and 4 engaged in both.
– Five households have kin working abroad
– One woman who owns and leases a six-door apartment

And earlier COA report shows photos of some of the beneficiaries’ properties.

P39-billion for 2012
CCT, or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), is government’s flagship program for the poor. It provides cash grants to extremely poor households. For healthcare costs, each household gets P500 a month. For education, each child below 14-years-old get P300 monthly.

The cash grants are tied to certain conditions. For example, parents should make sure that the children are going to school. Government believes that the CCT program will help the country meet certain human development goals on health and education.

COA Report on the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT Malacanang: Unfair
Malacanang was not happy with the COA report. On Thursday, deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte dismissed the report as “unfair.”

Valte said the COA’s sampling was too small to show the status of the CCT program. “It’s too small to give it a blanket conclusion that the CCT goes into gambling lords,” she said.

“That’s a little unfair. For four people out of thousands that the CCT has managed to help, it’s unfair to make a blanket, a sweeping generalization that the CCT goes to gambling lords and pushers,” she added.

But Valte assured that the government continues to purge its CCT list to ensure that only qualified beneficiaries avail of the program. She said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has already delisted 171,000 beneficiaries for reasons such as non-compliance or ineligibility. – Rappler.com

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