Gov’t gets $400-M loan from ADB for cash transfer program
MANILA-BASED multilateral lender Asian Development Bank (ADB) will lend the Philippines a fresh $400 million or more than P19 billion to sustain the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or “4Ps.”
“The support, which builds on ADB’s initial loan to the project of the same amount, will help the government support more families, now also including high school students. This is important, as impact evaluation shows that the CCTs [conditional cash transfers] are keeping vulnerable young people at school, opening the door to a better future,” Karin Schelzig, senior social sector specialist at ADB’s Southeast Asia department, said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The fresh assistance will finance a share of the grants to all participating households nationwide,” the ADB said. This additional financing will be infused in the next four years ending December 2019.
On top of the loan, the ADB will extend to the country a $1-million (about P47 million) technical assistance grant, which the lender said “will provide demand-driven policy and advisory services.”
In particular, the technical assistance “will help the Department of Social Welfare and Development strengthen program management, assess any proposed program or policy adjustments, and undertake operational spot checks on program implementation.”
In 2010, the ADB approved the initial loan “to strengthen the program’s poverty targeting system, finance a share of the cash grants to 637,000 households in selected areas, build capacity among program staff, and support monitoring and impact evaluation,” it noted.
The Philippines’ flagship CCT program benefited more than 4.4 million Filipinos as of the end of last year from only 340,000 when it was introduced in 2008.
At present, 4Ps is the fourth-biggest CCT program in the work in terms of number of beneficiaries, just behind India, Brazil and Mexico.
For 2016, the Philippine government has allocated a P62.7-billion budget for 4Ps, which provides regular educate and health grants to poor households.
The ADB noted that CCTs like 4Ps were important as these were “investment in human development that pays off when healthier and better educated young people grow up to get better jobs and break out of the poverty trap.”
In the case of 4Ps, the ADB cited that “more than 93 percent of the participating households regularly meet the conditions for receiving the grants, well in excess of the 80 percent target.”
“Performance targets for women’s participation, school enrollment rates, and other key indicators have also been exceeded, and rigorous impact studies have found no evidence that receiving the grants discourages adults from seeking paid work,” the ADB added.
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