Solon: DSWD to ‘hide’ poor in Nov.

THE Department of Social Welfare and Development, headed by Secretary Corazon Soliman, is again planning to “hide the homeless” in resorts during the APEC Summit in November.

This was revealed upon questioning by Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon during the plenary deliberation for the proposed budget of the DSWD Thursday night.

During the plenary session, Ridon asked the DSWD if the department will repeat its “vanishing act” against the homeless, referring to DSWD’s action on about 100 homeless who were taken off Roxas Boulevard and brought to Chateau Royal Batangas under DSWD’s “Modified Conditional Cash Transfer Program” during Pope Francis’ five-day apostolic visit last January.

MCCTP is the part of the government’s dole program, dubbed as the Conditional Cash Transfer Program, which includes programs for homeless street families, including itinerant indigenous families in urban areas.

In response to Ridon, DSWD budget sponsor Rep. Maria Carmen Zamora said that DSWD cannot give any commitment that they will stop the controversial outings, as the same MCCTP is still being implemented.

Zamora added that the activities involving homeless families have in fact not stopped even in the aftermath of the papal fiasco.

“I take that to mean, then, that the DSWD will be repeating this deplorable vanishing act during the APEC Summit?” Ridon retorted.

The DSWD budget sponsor replied, “The DSWD will continue with the MCCTP even during the APEC Summit, because it is the mandate of the DSWD.”

DSWD has asked Congress for a P62.6 billion budget for the conditional cash transfer program for 2016.

 “Today, DSWD not only confirmed that the policy of hiding poor families has continued, but that they will repeat this act come November. This, ladies and gentlemen, is your shameless government that continue to resort to sweeping the escalating poverty situation under the rug,” Ridon commented.

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