IBON clarifies PDI report on CCT | Inquirer Opinion

IBON clarifies PDI report on CCT

/ 10:52 PM October 18, 2013

We would like to comment on the article “CCT is no pork barrel—Dinky” (News, 10/14/13).

Last Oct. 8, IBON Foundation came out with a press release (available at www.ibon.org) which the Department of Social Welfare and Development responded to on Oct. 11 (available at www.dswd.org).

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The clarification the DSWD posted on its website wrongly states that IBON claimed that the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program has been marred by corruption and has been used as pork barrel. The DSWD’s reply is titled “DSWD clarifies IBON Foundation’s claim of corruption” and its lead paragraph says that IBON “[raised] the issue… that the CCT program of the government was used as a pork barrel.” The Inquirer article unfortunately echoes the DSWD’s reaction, stating that “IBON Foundation had earlier accused the DSWD of using the CCT for patronage politics.”

IBON’s Oct. 8 press release is clearly titled “Flagship 4Ps/CCT funds possibly misspent” and proceeded to cite the findings of the Commission on Audit (COA) on the DSWD for 2012. We relied on the findings of the commission, it being an independent auditor of government finances toward providing checks and balances on government agencies such as the DSWD.

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Our press release did not claim anything beyond the COA findings; at most it raised the concern that “[i]f irregularity is established, this could mean that at least Php 3.76 billion in Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) funds, including under the current administration, have been used as a pork barrel either for patronage purposes, lost to corruption, or both.” We also merely cited the report which said that the billions of pesos in unliquidated grants “[cast] doubts on the propriety of disbursements of grants.”

—SONNY AFRICA,

IBON Foundation,

[email protected]

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