By Angelica De Mesa
LEGAZPI CITY, 8May2016 (BicolToday.com) – “Itataguyod, isasabatas, papalawakin natin ang 4P’s,” presidentiable Mar Roxas made a promise to the 4P’s beneficiaries to pass the CCT program into a law when he wins the elections tomorrow.
However according to militant group Anakbayan, Roxas cannot possibly win the elections, except by rigging it through pre-determined electronically fabricated vote results”.
Anakbayan branded the program as “legalized vote buying and patronage politics.” According to reports, CCT is already being used by candidates in their campaigns in some cities. An expert on the program earlier warned that CCT can be used for vote-buying. Thus, this provides high-risk environment for massive graft and corruptions.
“Ang 4P’s ay investment. Hindi ito gastos o pamumulitika. Ito ay programa para mabago ang siglo ng kahirapan sa ating bansa,” Roxas said. Roxas together with other LP members are insisting this program as a cure to prevent poverty in the country.
According to some 4P’s beneficiaries, they were invited to attend the LP’s grand rally at ICR, Legazpi City last May 5 with the intent to support on passing the Cash Conditional Transfer (CCT) program as a law.
They were asked to wear yellow shirts, but only for those who wanted. Despite of the hot temperature inside the event centre, still, it was occupied by the 4P’s beneficiaries. They were expecting that this will arouse them to poverty that’s why they want it to become permanent.
“Each of you is a proof that we can lead a clean, honest, and no corrupt government. The money is straight given to you, no deduction, no malversation and no kick back from the government. That is what I am going to pursue,” Roxas stated.
Lea Borsigue, parent leader in Barriada, Legazpi City testified what improvisation it gives to her family. “It really helps a lot because I have three children. Every time they will issue the grant, I can easily give the needs of my kids especially in school. If before I just buy an exact rice to for our meals, now I can even buy a sack of rice,” said Borsigue.
At the other side, Lea concluded that it has also disadvantage. Some beneficiaries are just relying on the program and worse is they even use the money for their own satisfaction or interest just like gambling according to her.
According to Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), it is the Filipino version of the World Bank-funded Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Program where poor families receive cash provided their children regularly goes to public school at least 85% of the time, visits the health center for regular medical checkups and treatments. Conceiving mothers also receive financial grants provided they regularly undergo medical checkups and standard pregnancy treatments. Parents must attend responsible parenthood seminars, mother’s classes, and parent effectiveness seminars.
DSWD already warn those who will be caught using the money in this activity and for those who mortgage their ATM. They will address it to a certain punishment that may lead for their removal in the program.
“We are here to support the enactment of 4P’s, and at the same time to support the Liberal Party particularly Mar Roxas. We want him to win because we see that he would be the only one who’ll continue and improve the CCT”, said Robelyn Jacob of Penafrancia, Daraga, Albay who was among the attendees during the grand rally.
According to Crisostomo, Roxas is out to rig the elections. “They already used government funds and machinery for the campaign. They will fabricate the surveys to depict a last minute rise of Roxas,” he said.
The LP administration has the machinery, the money and control over Comelec and SmartMatic which is set to deliver auto-daya votes for Roxas according to Crisostomo. Anakbayan is calling the Filipinos to unite against Liberal Party ‘s plan to hijack the elections via massive electronic fraud.[BicolToday.com]
(The author is a journalism student of Bicol University who is writing for BicolToday.com as part of her internship)