Dominguez: Cutting poverty incidence by half no more a dream
With the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) now institutionalized and enjoying additional funding, the Duterte government’s goal to significantly reduce poverty by 2022 is within reach, according to the administration’s chief economic manager.
“The entire economic program of President Duterte has the ultimate goal of bringing down our poverty incidence from 27.6 percent in the first half of 2015 to just 14 percent by the end of the President’s term in 2022, expanding economic inclusion, and making real the dream of a comfortable life for every Filipino. We will tirelessly work towards the full realization of this goal,” Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said in a speech after the ceremonial signing Thursday of the $300-million loan covering additional financing for the conditional cash transfer program.In June, the World Bank approved the fresh loan, which is expected to benefit 8.7 million Filipino children from 4.2 million families in the next two years.
Given an estimated yearly budget of about $1.7 billion for the 4Ps, the new World Bank financing will account for 9 percent of the cost needed until June 2022.
Since 2010, the World Bank has already shelled out a total of $1.26 billion in financial support for the 4Ps, Dominguez noted.
In April, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law Republic Act (RA) No. 11310, which institutionalized the 4Ps and allowed it to secure a bigger fund for beneficiaries.
“The conditional cash transfer program is an indispensable component of the more comprehensive effort to combat cross-generational poverty. It is ultimately an investment in the next generation of Filipinos, who need to be ready to reap the benefits of our fast-approaching demographic dividend,” according to Dominguez.
World Bank country director for Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand Mara K. Warwick said in a separate speech this particular welfare program of the government was “the second most significant contributor to poverty reduction in the Philippines after individuals’ wage earnings from non-agricultural activities.”
“Through our partnership with DSWD [the Department of Social Welfare and Development], the World Bank remains committed to continuing to provide technical support to the 4Ps program together with other development partners,” Warwick said.
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