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Cagayan board member questions ‘not enough’ PWD, elderly fund in 2017 AIP

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Cagayan ex-officio Board Member Maila Ting-Que questioned the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) for allocating less than what the law requires for elderly and persons with disabilities (PWD).

Ting-Que also questioned why PSWDO has a smaller budget of P2.345 million compared to other departments such as Provincial Legal Office which has P3.2 million and Cagayan Information Office which is P3.8 million.

The lawmaker said the law stipulates that one percent of the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) for the annual budget of the province should be allocated for senior citizens and persons with disabilities.

This means the budget for PWDs and elderly should be around P20 million as the 2017 IRA is more than P2 billion.

PSWDO’s Restituto Vargas said only P150,000 is allotted each for senior citizens and PWDs. He added that the chunk of their budget is mostly for training, celebrations, and honorarium of guest speakers.

Vargas said the office only augments and supports social welfare services of municipalities.

Meanwhile, Ting-Que expressed sadness over the “low” budget because, she said, most of it will go to personnel and not directly to social services. She added that the program, while it looks good on paper, will “not be enough.”

“I hope these two sectors will be given priority by the administration kasi po hindi pa accepted at hindi pa po aware ang mga tao in terms of mental disabilities,” Ting-Que said.

Further, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan believes the PSWDO should have been given more fund because it provides people “basic needs” and other social services.

“Sa akin, hindi po akma ang budget to the tune of 2.3 million only. Definitely, it will not go a long way and it will not suffice the goal ng ating provincial government in poverty alleviation,” Board Member Perla Tumaliuan said.

The board is currently discussing the 2017 Annual Investment Program (AIP) and executive budget. Northernforum.net

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