CCT in millions of pesos a failure, and nothing for vets from P-Noy
A little more than a year from now, President Aquino will leave Malacañang, completing a six-year term in office marked by tragedies and debacles such as the earthquake in Bohol and supertyphoon in Leyte, and the Mamasapano massacre.
But the most problematic is the continually increasing number of families who seldom eat three times a day. Despite the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program wherein the Department of Social Welfare and Development gives out millions upon millions of pesos in doles to the poorest of the poor, the misery of the poor has not diminished. There must be something wrong in the implementation of CCT. Or, shall we say, the selection process is based on whom you know?
Let me cite some cases:
About half a dozen of school-age toddlers pass by our residence every morning, carrying empty sacks. Come afternoon, they pass by the house again, their sacks almost full of recyclable or still-sellable discards of every kind after a day-long scouring of the city’s streets. What I’m saying is, if the CCT selection process is thorough and according to prescribed criteria, these children would not be out in the streets but attending classes.
Then there are the itinerant beggars pleading that they have not yet eaten since morning.
Worse is having a family member confined at the Camarines Norte Provincial Hospital and being told to buy the needed medicines at nearby drug stores because the hospital doesn’t have them. How’s that? Isn’t it true that the hospital buys medicines worth millions of pesos? The hospital’s facilities and services deteriorated during the Arroyo administration; it has worsened all the more under the present administration.
Worse still, World War II veterans confined at the hospital for various ailments are treated no better and are made to pay for the hospital bills (net of PhilHealth’s share and the 20-percent discount). This, because the chief of hospital refused to sign a memorandum of agreement with the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City. Many hospitals have entered into such an agreement which would reimburse hospitals of expenses advanced in the care of veterans.
Once I wrote Camarines Norte Gov. Edgardo “Egay” Tallado, requesting him to ask the hospital chief to sign the agreement, but my appeal fell on deaf ears. The hospital has a new head now, but we see no change in hospital conditions.
Back to P-Noy, what benefit did the World War II guerrilla veterans receive from him?
Zilch. The present monthly old-age pension of P5,000 dates back to the Ramos administration; and the monthly administrative disability pension of P1,700 started during the Arroyo administration.
Had he certified the bill that Philippine Veterans Affairs Office chief Ernesto G. Carolina has been pushing for, the President could have claimed as his legacy the increase in the monthly old-age pension to P20,000. No reason to thank, therefore, P-Noy and the 16th Congress.
—GODOFREDO O. PETEZA, district president, Veterans Federation of the Philippines, Camarines Norte Veterans, District-Region 5, JP Rizal Street, Daet, Camarines Norte
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