November 15, 2010
Youth group Anakbayan hurled paint bombs at the gate of the Dept. of Social Work and Development (DSWD) national office, daring proponents of the much-maligned Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program to substantiate their claims regarding the program.
Anakbayan spokesperson Charisse Bañez twited CCT supporters, saying “They shouldn’t wonder why everyone is against this dole-out program. After all, they’ve done nothing but mouth slogans instead of providing proof about the supposed effectiveness of the program”.
The militant organization of young workers, farmers, students, young professionals, migrant and out-of-school youth was one of the first to express its opposition to the continuation and expansion of the CCT way back in the first week of September this year. The group had previously pointed out that the claim that CCTs would improve the health and educational attainment of poor Filipinos was untrue, considering the shortage in health and education service facilities in the country.
“It is ironic that the Aquino administration expects the CCT to have those effects when it slashed the budget for health by P37.8 billion, and State Universities and Colleges by P1.1 billion” said Bañez. She added that the proposed P29.2 billion budget for the program would have been better spent as additional funding for public hospitals and schools.
“In truth, the CCT is simply a way to cover-up the anti-youth and anti-poor nature of next year’s national budget” asserted the Anakbayan spokesperson.
She pointed out that in next year’s budget, the following social services would see their funding reduced: State Colleges and Universities, government hospitals, the National Food Authority fund to purchase ‘palay’ and sell rice cheaply, and the Dept. of Transportation and Communication subsidy to the MRT and LRT train systems.
Finally, the youth leader chided a partylist group which “flip-flopped” on its stance regarding the CCT, calling their latest harangue against CCT opponents ‘delusional’.
“Is there really a ‘Coalition against the Poor’, or are in denial of the fact that the Filipino people is unanimously opposed to dole-outs?” said Bañez, in reference to an article by Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello which branded CCT critics a ‘Coalition against the Poor’.
She added “Someone who already ate his own words regarding the dole-outs should have enough common sense to simply shut up”, in reference to Bello’s own privilege speech in the House of Representatives where the latter said there was no proof whatsoever about the effectiveness of CCTs in any country where it was implemented.