Youth group Anakbayan today hit the Aquino administration for using the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) as a form of “legalized vote buying” and the use of public funds for the Liberal Party electoral campaign.
“Out of desperation to let kulelat Mar Roxas win the presidential contest at all costs, the Aquino government is contributing all the resources under its command for the ruling party’s campaign,” said Anakbayan National Chairperson Vencer Crisostomo.
He said patronage politics is the real meaning of tuwid na daan, recalling statements by Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Dinky Soliman warning that “the fate of these programs would now be up to people voting for new leaders in the 2016 elections.”
Crisostomo said this is on top of the CCTs’ failure as an anti-poverty measure and its taking away of funds that should have been directly allotted for social services. For 2016, P64 billion will be allotted for the 4Ps, more than half of the DSWD’s P110.8 billion budget.
The Commission on Audit (COA) have previously criticized the 4Ps, pointing out that many beneficiaries are not actually poor and that billions in funds remain unliquidated. Despite the increase in the 4Ps budget in past years, COA also noted a decline in the number of program beneficiaries.
“The CCTs is being used by the Aquino government to buy votes and get support of local government for the Roxas campaign. 4Ps assemblies have been transformed into election sorties where beneficiaries are threatened with the slashing of doleouts if Roxas doesn’t win the presidency,” he said.
The youth leader also slammed the use of government vehicles and other facilities for the Roxas campaign. Vigilant netizens have recently posted a series of exposes in social media against such grave misuse of public funds for electoral purposes.
Some of these include a photo of a government pickup used in a postering operation for Marx Roxas in Zamboanga Sibugay and the photos of government dumptrucks loaded with LP campaign materials and Dipolog City government buses reportedly used to welcome Roxas in Dipolog City.
“We call on Comelec to disqualify Liberal Party candidates using public funds including Mar Roxas. We call on candidates for the 2016 elections to reject CCTs and stop the 4Ps program. It is a failed and discredited anti-poverty measure. It is nothing but legalized vote-buying,” he said.