National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) Secretary Liza Maza said the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program should be eventually phased out, saying that it is not the solution in addressing poverty.

“Ako sa palagay ko, by its very concept, hindi talaga ma-a-address ng CCT ‘yung kahirapan. I don’t think it will ever, ever address poverty,” Maza said in a press briefing in Malacañang on Thursday, February 16.

Maza said that instead, there should be more anti-poverty programs that would have immediate impact.

“To end poverty, we must address its roots in underdevelopment and inequality. That is why we have decided to focus our efforts on policy advocacy since many of the things that we need to end poverty require new policy or fundamental changes in existing policy,” Maza said.

She also said the resumption of the peace talks is important “as addressing the roots of armed conflict is also addressing the roots of poverty.”

“Right now, the talks [have] already started in relation to the comprehensive agreement on social and economic reforms. And this agreement actually addresses the root causes of armed conflict,” Maza said.

“Sa palagay ko maganda na maituloy ‘yung peace talks para mapag-usapan na nga seryoso ‘yan at magkaroon na ng agreement tungkol sa social and economic reforms like, for example, land reform,” she added.

Meanwhile, Maza said President Duterte has committed to call the NAPC en banc every month.

In the same briefing, Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella dismissed as rehash the statements made by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on the supposed bank accounts of the President.

“If he truly has something in mind, then he probably should go to the proper authorities in order to be able to lay down something like this. It’s best to just do it according to due process,” Abella said.

The Palace official stressed that the accusations were first made by Trillanes during the last days of the presidential campaign last year.

“Basically, this is old ground. It’s a rehash of items that have already been discussed three days before election. He is just bringing out old issues,” Abella said.

He said such issues are “part of the noise of the political landscape” and that the Palace is not interested in “grandstanding.”###PND