This is the point being driven at by the four government secretaries that make up the Human Development Cluster (HDC) of the Aquino administration during government media’s second installment of the Forum on the Philippine Development Plan held earlier today and aired live on NBN4.
The Cluster Chair and Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman underscored the need to be “responsible” citizens of the CCT beneficiaries as the monthly stipend allotted to them is their vehicle toward personal and economic development.
“Beneficiaries have to comply with the conditions set by the government in order to continually receive the financial aid,” Soliman said.
“Student beneficiaries will have to regularly go to school and have at least 85 per cent attendance in class,” the DSWD chief added.
The Department of Education (DepEd), another key agency for human development and poverty reduction, has been actively monitoring the attendance of around a million child-beneficiaries.
DepEd secretary Bro. Armin Luistro added that another one million students will be monitored as the number of CCT recipients continually increase. The close monitoring ensures that children from poor families concentrate on their studies with the aid of the allowance given to them.
While indigent students benefit financially from the program, the DepEd ensures that they get up-to-date and relevant education with the implementation of the K-12 program, with the integration of technology in the curriculum.
“The K-12 program, which adds more years in high school, would help students in skills training and make them more competitive in the global work market,” Luistro said.
Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, also a member of the HDC, sees the necessity of implementing the K-12 program as more and more employers in other countries would require at least a 12-year basic education program from their workforce.
While the students become closer in attaining the minimum education requirement that would give them a slot in the employment arena through the CCT program, the family members are also encouraged to maintain good health.
Mothers are thus required to undergo regular check-ups at community health centers to see to it that the children are also well taken care of.
In this note, the Department of Health (DOH) is continually pushing for the universal health program that would guarantee health assistance to all Filipinos.
Secretary Enrique Ona stressed the need to have adequate facilities as well as hospitals and health centers to benefit the Filipinos.
The government eyes 4.6 million households for the CCT program. By the end of 2011, it indends to have serviced 2.3 million of the identified poorest families, and they are envisioned to be the embodiment of human development and the driving force for economic progress.