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MANILA, Philippines -- Malacanang hailed the decision of the Supreme Court upholding the constitutionality of the conditional cash transfer program, which it said would allow the administration to increase the number of household beneficiaries to 3.8 million next year.
Deputy Palace spokesperson Abigail Valte said the ruling’s timing was perfect as Congress deliberates the proposed 2013 budget.
"We welcome the unanimous decision of the Supreme Court upholding the constitutionality ofthe Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the Aquino administration," Valte said on Tuesday.
In the proposed 2013 budget, Valte said the allocation for social equity -- which covers investments in education, health, and welfare -- has increased by P85 billion to P698.4 billion.
The CCT budget, in particular, will increase from this year's P39.4 billion to P44.3 billion in 2013.
"The 4Ps program is a realization of our commitment to inclusive and equitable economic growth. At its core is the partnership between government and families, and the fulfillment of a pledge that as many Filipinos should benefit from the fruits of our reforms," Valte said.
In its 12-page en banc decision, the high court dismissed the petition for certiorari and prohibition filed by former Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. and barangay officials Nelso Alcantara and Sergio Tadeo in March last year.
Pimentel and the two barangay officials questioned the CCT’s implementation through the Department of Social Welfare and Development instead of through the local government units.
The CCT is implemented in 138 cities, 1,261 municipalities, and 79 provinces, covering some 3,014,586 households.
The majority of the beneficiaries -- 1,294,946 million households -- reside in Mindanao, followed by 1,030,078 in Luzon and 689,562 in the Visayas.