News Release

President Aquino hails Center for Community Transformation for contributions to nation-building

President Benigno S. Aquino III on Thursday hailed the 10,000-strongmembers of the Center for Community Transformation (CCT) Group of Ministries for their vast contribution to nation-building.

In his speech during the center’s 25th anniversary celebration at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club in Mandaluyong City, the President assured the Group of Ministries that the government will continue to help assure the continued flow of basic services to the needy.

“I really want to say that you have done so much and again, perhaps we in government are obligated to do so. You obviously are just obligated by your sense of volunteerism and community — and of being of service. And for that again, I offer you my most sincere thanks,” President Aquino told the attendees.

The CCT operates in 96 cities and 54 municipalities across the Philippines, reaching out to street families, children and youth at risk, fisher folk, landless agricultural workers, indigenous people, factory workers, informal workers, micro-entrepreneurs, and the community at large. The center reaches out to more than 500,000 people in various parts of the country.

“I am well aware that the impact you have had on Filipino society goes far beyond mere figures. There are the fathers and mothers you empower through microfinance to operate their own small businesses and provide for their families’ needs; the communities to whom you give free education and health services; the families whose spiritual lives you have strengthened through your ministry,” the President said.

“In reaching out to our brethren in the margins, you yourselves have become pathways to the Lord; you have helped them to renew their faith in others and in Him and in themselves. We remember Matthew 25:35: ‘For I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me,’” he added.

The CCT’s programs and services are designed to be holistic, integrated, community-based, family-focused, sustainable and transformational. It offers economic empowerment programs, such as savings and credit; technical and vocational education; business training and enterprise development; social services and education; community mobilization and social infrastructure building. All these are integrated into the spiritual development of the people the CCT serves.

President Aquino noted that under the government’s Conditional Cash Transfer Program, household beneficiaries receive cash assistance in exchange for fulfilling the conditions of sending their children to school, and for ensuring that the children receive the necessary vaccinations and attend medical check-ups.

“In 2013, you — your CCT —partnered with the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) to implement the Program for Livelihood and Transformation (PRO-LIT), giving participants access to credit, savings, and micro-insurance for MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) development,” he said.

“Apart from that, as an extension of your own project, you have also partnered with a TESDA-accredited institute to provide training in carpentry, plumbing, masonry, and electrical installation and maintenance. All of these things, by the way, I’m told, are so full of vacancies that a lot of our very well established construction companies have urgent hiring needs for the categories we just mentioned,” he said.

President Aquino expressed hope that the CCT would extend its partnerships to reach more beneficiaries.

“Should you need further convincing, which I highly doubt, let me relate to you an especially significant achievement: preliminary findings from an assessment of households conducted by the DSWD show that more than 1.5 million households or around 7.7 million Filipinos, have already breached or have been lifted above the poverty line. Thanks to the Conditional Cash Transfer Program,” he noted.

The President further lauded the accreditation of the CCT’s boarding schools in Puypuy and Magdalena, Laguna, which serve as homes to street children as their parents transition away from life on the streets and get back on their feet through livelihood opportunities provided by the center’s Kaibigan Ministry.

He went on to say that he attended the event “simply because I want to thank you for the work that you have done and continue to do; I join you because I want to celebrate twenty-five years of the meaningful transformation you have wrought in so many Filipino communities”.

“In the moments when the burden of my office weighs heavily on me, it is being and praying with people like you that refresh me and renew my strength and hope. I always promised to leave the Philippines in a far better state than the one in which I found it, and I believe that I will do just that when I step down in 91 days,” he said. PND (sm)