Feb 262013
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) might exempt the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s conditional cash transfer (CCT) program from the election-related ban on the release of public funds.

Poll chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said Tuesday they will be hearing the request to allow the release of funds for CCT even during the campaign period.

“Kung makita namin na pwede ituloy then we will give them exemption, depende sa lalabas sa hearing,” he told reporters.

There is no definite date yet for the hearing. The ban on the release of public funds will start on March 29.

Section 1 (2) of Comelec Resolution 9585 states that the DSWD and any other office in other departments of the government performing similar functions are prohibited to release, disburse or spend public funds except for salaries of personnel.

Other routine and normal expenses may be authorized by the Comelec but only after due notice and hearing.

“Should a calamity or disaster occur, all releases normally or usually coursed through the said departments and offices of other departments shall be turned over to, and administered and disbursed by, the Philippine National Red Cross, subject to the supervision of the Commission on Audit (COA) or its representatives, and no candidate or his or her spouse or member of his family within the second civil degree of affinity or consanguinity shall participate, directly or indirectly, in the distribution of any relief or other goods to the victims of the calamity or disaster,” the resolution further states.

Brillantes said the DSWD, for the meantime, can still continue releasing funds for the program “until such time that we say hindi pupwede yan.”

He also said the candidates should not use CCT to advance their respective campaigns. “Hindi naman dapat i-connect sa campaign ‘yan, otherwise pag kinonek sa kampanya hindi tama ‘yan.”

Some 3 million families benefit from the CCT program. The beneficiaries are required to keep their children 14 years or younger in school and take them to health stations for regular checkups. Pregnant mothers are also required to get proper prenatal and postnatal care and their deliveries attended to by health professionals. — Amita O. Legaspi/KBK, GMA News

 Leave a Reply