World Bank approves $300-M loan for PH’s ‘Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program’

Published June 28, 2019, 7:08 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Chino Leyco

The World Bank has approved the Philippines’ $300 million loan to aug­ment funds for its “Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program,” commonly known as “4Ps,” that grants poor families with state subsidy to ensure that their chil­dren stay healthy and in school.

(REUTERS / MANILA BULLETIN)
(REUTERS / MANILA BULLETIN)

The 4Ps currently benefits at least 4.2 million families, including 8.7 million children.

According to the World Bank, the new funding will finance cash transfers to poor families for a period of two years as well as help combat malnutrition and promote early childhood development.

It will also provide technical as­sistance to the government to help strengthen implementation and impact, including more efficient pay­ment systems, monitoring and evaluation, and family development sessions.

“This additional financing shows the World Bank’s continuing commit­ment to the country’s social protection program as it grows with greater so­phistication to tackle a broader array of development concerns, including child malnutrition,” Mara K. Warwick, World Bank country director for the Philippines said.

“Since 2008, the 4Ps has promoted safer birth deliveries and has improved poor children’s access to educational and health services. We are proud to support programs such as this that help millions of families overcome poverty,” she added.

The annual budget for the 4Ps is $1.7 billion. The additional funding from the World Bank will cover 9 percent of the 4Ps budget through June, 2022.

The 4Ps provides cash grants to poor households, which ultimately aims to reduce school dropout rates, discour­aging child labor, and enabling these children to break free from poverty in adulthood.

Under the program, pregnant moth­ers receiving grants are required to get pre- and post-natal checks to help ensure safe motherhood.

Parents also attend “family develop­ment sessions” where they strengthen their knowledge of child care and are empowered to demand better and expanded social services from the government.

The World Bank has been support­ing 4Ps over the last decade.

In 2016, the World Bank approved a $450-million funding to help finance the health and education grants for CCT beneficiaries from 2016 to 2019, covering about seven percent of the total cost of the program’s implementation.

Implemented in 145 cities and 1,483 municipalities in the country, the 4Ps is responsible for a quarter of total poverty reduction in the country, ac­cording to the World Bank 2018 Poverty Assessment.

 
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