Phil Department of Budget works to lower high school dropout rate
by FFE PH News staff
Department of Budget and Management secretary Florencio Abad explained to media on Sunday the reason behind the increase in the budget for the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program, saying it was supposed to lower the dropout rate of poor high school students.
He said, “The expansion of the CCT program is designed to give financial support to in-need high school students, so they’re encouraged to keep at their secondary-school education under the K-12 system and receive their high-school diplomas.”
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad
Under the CCT program, the poorest families in the country are given monthly subsidies. In exchange, the families must send their children to public schools and, along with the mothers, must regularly visit public health centers.
The agency increased the proposed budget for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) from P44 billion this year to P62.6 billion in 2014. P48.3 billion of the total 4Ps budget will be used support the CCT program.
In the expanded program, an estimated 4.3 million of the poorest families will be given P1,400. The remaining P12.3 billion will be distributed as P500 monthly cash grants to families with children aged 15 to 18. DBM said the expanded CCT program will benefit approximately 10.2 million high school students.
The CCT program was introduced by the government as a way for the youth in the poorest families to finish high school and increase their job prospects. Abad said this “will allow them to support themselves and their families in the long-run.”
The budget increase for the 4Ps program has been met with mixed reviews by experts and criticism from various groups.