Monday, 4 August 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Monday, August 4, 2014

Palace open to inquiry on Conditional Cash Transfer, official says

Malacañang is open to any congressional probe on the effectiveness of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said on Monday.

Secretary Lacierda was commenting on reports that Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. is seeking for a review of the CCT program to see if it has helped poverty alleviation efforts.

Lacierda said the CCT program provides a bridge between that stage when the poorest of the poor have nothing and the time when they find employment.

“Kaya pumapasok ang gobyerno, kaya tinatawag itong intervention, pumapasok ang pamahalaan para hanapin sila at bigyan sila ng kapasidad umangat sa kanilang stage level ngayon,” he said.

He explained that the “poorest of the poor” are identified through a National Household Targeting Survey.

“May survey na ginagawa, ina-identify natin sa bawat rehiyon kung sino ang dapat sumali diyan. May mga qualifications ito,” he said, noting that choosing the CCT beneficiaries is not based on recommendations.

He said the government provides them livelihood.

“For instance, we give them 10,000 pesos to start a business. No interest, no collateral, and payable in two years,” he said.

To ensure the success of the CCT program, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) monitors the beneficiaries if they do send their children to school and give them proper health care.

“Kapag tumanggap ka ng CCT, kailangan mag-aral at pumasok sa eskwela ang iyong mga anak. Kaya nga ito tinatawag na conditional. Hindi ito ibibigay lang sa’yo at bahala ka na. May monitoring na ginagawa ang DSWD,” he said, adding that those who do not comply are taken out of the program.

“To a large extent, it will be criminal for us not to help the poorest of the poor. That is our commitment—that no one should be left behind,” Lacierda said. PND (ag)

Government determined in repatriating Filipinos from Libya, Palace official says

The Palace said on Monday the government is determined to bring home overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) whose lives may be in danger in Libya.

“For those who find themselves in a very, very dangerous situation, in a very perilous situation, the government would certainly want them to come home safely,” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda told reporters during a press briefing in Malacañang.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), some 831 Filipinos have returned from Libya as of August 3.

Secretary Lacierda however noted that there are a number of reasons why some Filipinos in Libya refuse to come home.

“For instance, a number of them are already married to Libyan nationals. So, mahirap biyakin ang pamilya ‘pag ganoon ang situation,” he explained.

For those who fear facing unemployment when they return, Lacierda said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) could help them find new jobs here and abroad.

“It has happened to us. If you recall, in our row with Taiwan, we were already looking at other countries that would like to absorb our OFWs. And for instance, in Batangas, there was a company called [AG&P], which absorbed a number of OFWs to their fold,” he said.

He said the government is trying to contact the OFWs by coordinating with the Filipino community in Libya as well as their relatives in the Philippines. PND (ag)