By Lilybeth G. Ison
At the start of deliberation for the proposed P1.645 trillion national budget for 2011 at the House of Representatives, Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad on Monday appealed to lawmakers to keep the P44 billion pro-poor fund allocations intact to help the government combat poverty and meet its Millennium Development Goals (MDG) target for 2015.
“Ang pakiusap namin sa mga mambabatas na kung pwede huwag na magalaw iyon lalo na na galing si Presidente sa conference on MDG. Meron tayong commitment sa mga kasamahan natin sa UN na by 2015, iyan iyong deadline ng pagtamo sa mga target sa MDG (Our appeal to the lawmakers is for them to keep intact (the pro-poor fund allocation). The President has just attended the conference on MDG and we have a commitment to our fellow nations in the United Nations to meet the deadline by 2015),” said Abad.
“Magtulungan na tayo na maabot natin iyon sa pamamagitan ng pagtitiyak na hindi mabawasan ang mga programa na makakatulong sa pagtamo ng target (Let’s help each other to reach that goal by not cutting the fund for the program),” he said.
Of the total P44 billion, some P29 billion was allocated for the conditional cash transfer (CCT) and its component programs such as the food-for-work, the barangay-based Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), and the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.
The remaining P15 billion fund was alloted for the private-public partnership (PPP) program of the government.
Abad said the government needs this fund as a counterpart amount for the investments that will come in from private investors.
With the potential investors who have expressed interest in the program, he said the government might even need to augment the P15 billion fund for PPP.