Groups call for DSWD Secretary’s resignation for “hiding poor from Pope”

Jan. 25, 2015

Members of progressive organizations in Manila will hold a protest action Monday to call for the resignation of Social Welfare Secretary Corazon ‘Dinky’ Soliman over the agency’s “hiding of the poor” during the visit of Pope Francis in the Philippines.

According to their statement sent to media Sunday, the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap believes that bringing hundreds of families to a luxury resort in Batangas is a “scandalous attempt to hide the situation of street dwellers” from the pope.

Around 500 families from Pasay, Roxas Boulevard, Baclaran and Manila were transported to Chateu Royal in Nasugbu, Batangas from January 14 to 19. An estimate of at least 1.4 million pesos was spent during the families’ stay in the resort.

“It is the best time for [Secretary Soliman] to resign from her post amid previous corruption cases hurled against the agency with its dole-out program for the poor and its aid system for disaster victims,” the group said.

Meanwhile the DSWD said in news reports that the activity for the poor families is only part of its Modified Conditional Cash Transfer Program to assess the rightful beneficiaries of the CCT.

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