MANILA – The House of Representatives will start a probe into a report saying that nearly a third of the government’s dole program did not go to the poorest of the poor.
An Asian Development report revealed that nearly one third of the P62 billion allocated to the program was not given to the ‘truly poor’ Filipinos.
“Improvements are needed in the program’s targeting system to reduce an estimated leakage rate of 30 percent,” the report said.
It added that P19 billion out of the P62 billion allocated for the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program, or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program were given to beneficiaries that are above the poverty standards indicated in the program.
According to minority leaders Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez and Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares, Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman will be asked to explain the findings of the ADB report.
Soliman, however said in a report for the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the report was based on the 2009 data.
The department quoted the ADB Philippine country director Richard Bolt as saying:
“I wish to clarify that the figure in the ‘Learning Lessons’ publication of ADB’s Independent Evaluation Department is sourced from a 2013 study done by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, which is based on 2009 data and earlier poverty targeting practices. It is unfortunate that this reference was not clear.”
The department is also proposing an increase in the CCT budget with the coverage increasing from 800,000 in the Arroyo administration to 4.4 million in the Aquino administration.