The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines -- Senator Franklin Drilon said Thursday that Congress has agreed to bring down the 10 percent administrative cost of the P39.45-billion conditional cash transfer program to seven percent.
Interviewed after a joint congressional hearing on the administration’s flagship program for poverty alleviation, Drilon said the money taken from the administrative cost will be given to more beneficiaries to expand the CCT’s coverage.
During the hearing, Drilon, who chairs the Senate finance committee, told the Department of Social Welfare and Development that its “budget is far in excess of what is acceptable as administrative cost. Given the magnitude of this program, we should be more accurate in budgeting in terms of administrative cost.”
Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman agreed to revisit the CCT’s administrative cost, as she acknowledged that the administrative cost of a similar program in Mexico was only 6.8 percent of the total budget.
The proposed 2013 CCT budget would increase the P4-billion administrative cost this year to P4.48 billion.
The DSWD has proposed a P44.26-billion for the CCT in 2013, a 12.2 percent increase from this year’s P39.45 billion.
“This will translate to an additional 702,790 household beneficiaries for 2013 from 3,106,979 this year,” Drilon said.
Soliman told the hearing that the CCT has benefited 3,014,586 households from 138 cities and 1,261 municipalities in 79 provinces as of June 2012.
Mindanao has the most beneficiaries at 1,294,946, followed by Luzon with 1,030,078 and the Visayas with 689,562.
Soliman said P9.04 billion in cash grants have been released as of end-May -- P4.63 billion in health grants and P4.42 billion in education grants.
The CCT provides a P1,400 monthly stipend to the poorest families on condition they keep their children in school and their mothers undergo regular checkups.