PHL can implement anti-poverty initiatives beyond 2016 –Palace

By Leslie D. Venzon

MANILA, Aug. 6 (PNA) — Malacanang on Wednesday stressed the need to continue implementing anti-poverty initiatives such as the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program initiated by the Aquino administration beyond 2016.

“It’s an ongoing process. The fight against poverty will not finish in 2016,” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a Palace press briefing.

Lacierda noted this after the multilateral institution World Bank (WB) offered $ 400 million in loans for the Philippine CCT and other programs to boost the economy. These loans are to be paid until 2035.

CCT is a program implemented by the government where cash grants are given to eligible beneficiaries provided they comply with certain conditions such as nutrition, education, family development sessions and other such services.

“This doesn’t limit itself to just the CCT. Because of the fiscal space, the prudent fiscal management of the country, we’re able to do a lot of anti-poverty interventions. And for that particular reason, we’re able to lift up the welfare of the poorest of the poor,” he said.

Lacierda said credit rating upgrades also allowed the Philippines to borrow at concessional and preferential rates.

He said the government’s commitment to reduce poverty with the implementation of various anti-poverty initiatives continues.

“Our resolve to ensuring that we spend the money wisely, we spend on things that needed to be spent (such as) on social programs, that should matter. That’s what this government is doing,” he added. (PNA)