World Bank grants P21-B loan for 4Ps
The World Bank has approved a new $450-million (about P21 billion) loan to the Philippines to augment funding for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) over the next four years.
The bank’s board of executive directors approved on Feb. 19 the Social Welfare Development and Reform Project II (SWDRP2), which will cover some 7 percent of the total cost to implement the 4Ps, also known as the conditional cash transfer program (CCT), from 2016 to 2019, it said in a statement released on Saturday.
The bulk of the amount to be spent on the 4Ps will still come from the annual national budget.
“The World Bank is steadfast in its commitment and support for the CCT because we believe it contributes to reducing extreme poverty and inequality. Combined with high and sustained economic growth, CCT as a social safety net provides an equitable foundation for growth that works for the poor,” said Cecilia Vales, the bank’s acting country director for the Philippines.
According to the World Bank, the 4Ps “has grown into one of the largest and best-targeted social safety net programs in the world, with 82 percent of the benefits going to the bottom 40 percent of the country’s population.”
At present, the program benefits more than four million poor families, including 11 million children, it said.
“Recent studies show the program has reduced the total poverty and food poverty among CCT beneficiaries by up to 6.7 percentage points. At the national level, estimates show the program reduced both total poverty and food poverty by up to 1.4 percentage points in 2013,” the World Bank said.
“[4Ps], as a long-term investment, helps reduce the vulnerability of families to sudden economic difficulties and contributes to breaking intergenerational poverty by helping today’s children become productive members of society. After only a few years of implementation, we are already seeing its tangible benefits to poor Filipinos. With continuing support from development partners like the World Bank, we can sustain our momentum toward reducing poverty and inequality,” Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman was quoted as saying by the World Bank.
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