World Bank may boost funding for PH cash transfer program
Ranking official to visit PH to assess programBy Michelle V. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The World Bank is considering extending more funding support for the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program and other income-generation initiatives in the country after it cited the failure of the country’s economic growth to reduce poverty.
The multilateral institution said it will send a ranking official to the Philippines to inquire about the progress of the CCT program and to determine other projects that it can potentially help lift more Filipinos out of poverty.
Pamela Cox, newly appointed World Bank vice president for East Asia and the Pacific, will visit the Philippines this week to learn more about the country’s poverty situation and discuss potential solutions with key officials.
She will also be the World Bank’s representative to the 45th annual meeting of the board of governors of the Asian Development Bank that will be held in Manila from May 2 to 5.
“I look forward to discussing with the government and other stakeholders how the bank can further support the Philippines’ efforts to create opportunities for all,” Cox said in the World Bank’s statement released Monday.
Cox, who was previously assigned in Latin America, will visit household beneficiaries of the CCT program during her stay in the Philippines.
Under the CCT program, the Philippine government extends food subsidies to selected poorest households. Beneficiaries are required to send children to public schools and members, especially mothers, to visit public health centers, in a bid to increase accessibility of education and health services to poor Filipinos.
Putting more children from poor households in school is expected over the long term to increase the quality of the country’s labor force and to give the poor better chances of getting employed.
For 2012, the government has allocated P39 billion for the CCT program, aiming to target 3 million household beneficiaries, an increase from last year’s 2.3 million.
The government has funded the CCT program partly through loans from development institutions like the World Bank.
The World Bank said that as of end-March 2012, its total loan commitments for future developmental projects in the Philippines stand at $1.8 billion.
The bank said it can augment its commitments depending on the country’s needs. It is also open to providing funding support to projects aimed at helping improve disaster risk management in the Philippines.
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