BARUGO, Leyte – Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Soliman has called on voters to report to the Commission on Election (Comelec) those candidates threatening to eliminate their names as beneficiaries of government’s anti-poverty programs.
The official confirmed that DSWD have been receiving reports that some supporters and candidates have warned conditional cash transfer (CCT) beneficiaries of possible exclusion from the program due to their voting preference.
Soliman added that some candidates promise non-recipients that they would be included in the CCT list if they would support their candidacy. She said that using government programs to harass voters could be a ground for disqualification.
Soliman pointed out that only DSWD has the capacity to erase a CCT beneficiary’s name, but this could be done for as long as recipient comply to the program’s conditions.
CCT also known as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program provides conditional cash grants to the poorest of the poor in the bid to improve the health, nutrition, and the education of their children below 18 years old.
Conditions include availment of pre and post-natal care of pregnant women, childbirth attended by a trained professional, and attendance of parents or guardians in the family development sessions.
Children who are five years of age and below must receive regular preventive health check-ups and vaccines while children who are six to 14 years old must receive deworming pills twice a year.
School-age children are required to be at school 85 percent of class days every month.
“You will not be delisted because you disobeyed your village chief. You will remain on the list even if you don’t support your mayor, congressman or governor. Only the DSWD has the access to the list,” Soliman said.
The official also received reports that some candidates told voters that they will receive additional amount for Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) and those who did not receive, will get shelter aid.
Soliman said that ESA distribution is already done. DSWD has released a total of PHP9 billion shelter aid for super typhoon Yolanda victims in Eastern Visayas.