World Bank: PH’s conditional cash transfer a potent antipoverty tool | Inquirer Business

World Bank: PH’s conditional cash transfer a potent antipoverty tool

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 05:18 AM April 06, 2018

The country’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) is an effective social safety medium benefiting an increasing number of indigent families, according to the World Bank.

The Washington-based multilateral lender said the Philippines’ conditional cash transfer program, which allocates money for the poorest of the poor, now covered 20 percent of the population from only 5 percent in 2010.

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The assessment was included in the World Bank’s State of the Social Safety Nets 2018 report released on Wednesday night.

In the report, the lender said the coverage of the 4Ps jumped from single digit to double digits in less than 10 years or between 2008 and 2015. Also, the annual budget for the program has grown from 0.1 percent of gross domestic product to 0.5 percent.

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The 4Ps was also instrumental in helping families recover from the impact of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: “Haiyan”).

“In response to typhoon Yolanda in 2013, the government of the Philippines released the equivalent of $12.5 million between November 2013 and February 2014—three months after the disaster struck—in unconditional cash transfers to existing beneficiaries of the national conditional cash transfer program, Pantawid. In addition, the existing Pantawid cash delivery platform and national targeting systems helped the World Food Programme and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) provide top-up benefit amounts to Pantawid households in affected areas,” the World Bank noted.

To recall, Yolanda flattened most of central Philippines when it unleashed record-strong winds of 300 kilometers per hour in November 2013. Storm surges of over four meters also caused massive flooding.

Based on 2015 reports, Yolanda pummeled 171 cities and municipalities, affecting 12 million people. Over 900,000 families were displaced and more than a million houses damaged, leaving at least 6,200 dead, 1,000 missing and 28,000 injured.

In a separate report last year, the World Bank noted that the onslaught of Yolanda slashed 0.9 percent from the gross domestic product growth in 2013, on top of another 0.3-percent cut the following year. The extensive damage also resulted in 2.3 million Filipinos falling below the poverty line.

The lender had pegged total damage and loss due to the supertyphoon at P571.1 billion.

In 2016, the World Bank approved a $450-million loan to the Philippine government to augment funding for the 4Ps until 2019.

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TAGS: conditional cash transfer, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), World Bank
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