Gov’t programs must include children | Inquirer Opinion

Gov’t programs must include children

09:50 PM July 26, 2012

I write this letter as a concerned senior citizen who loves our country and is eager to help the present administration succeed in its quest to lift us from the quagmire of corruption. We are aware that this perennial morality problem, the root cause of the prevailing poverty and other social ills besetting our nation, persists despite the sincere effort of President Aquino to fight it.

As a physician, civic leader, Mason, author of child and elderly care books, I cannot just stand idly without doing anything to help P-Noy considering that this problem is not only the government’s concern but the people’s as well.

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So allow me to share some observations and suggestions.

The government’s Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program is laudable. The intention is to directly address poverty by making it easier for the poorest households to have access to primary education, healthcare service, etc. Of course, there are conditions and requirements for a family to remain a beneficiary of the program. The intriguing question is what will happen to those who could not comply, for one reason or another, with any of the conditions or requirements? I suggest that the Department of Social Welfare and Development find an alternative solution to fully realize the objectives of the program. Anomalies have been reported regarding the selection of beneficiaries—favoritism one of them, with families of government and DSWD employees extended program coverage.

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The mandate of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) is to protect overseas Filipino workers from any form of abuses. But the existing limited protection given to OFWs is unfair to their children who are deprived of proper parental care during their absence from home. It is a fact that children raised the right way cannot be easily tempted to do wrong. It is then suggested that the POEA provide the necessary guidance for the children.

The regular $25 mandatory OFW contribution to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is supposed to benefit his/her family of at least P100,000. It is clear that such benefit is intended for other family needs, but OWWA has overlooked the fact that the children in their formative years cannot be raised the right way without proper guidance.

Recently, Sen. Franklin Drilon hinted about reducing next year’s administrative budget for the CCT, the centerpiece program of the DSWD. Sen. Joker Arroyo reacted to this by questioning Drilon’s focusing on the CCT, which is intended to help the poorest of the poor, when he should be scrutinizing the government’s $1-billion loan to the International Monetary Fund.

I hope and pray that both of them will just support and cooperate to work for a peaceful and happy life for all.

—NESTOR A. LACEDA SR., MD,

Feadco Building, 161-A Shaw Blvd.

cor. JB Vargas St., Mandaluyong City

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TAGS: children, Conditional Cash Transfer program, education, Government, Healthcare, letters, Poverty
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