By Chino S. Leyco
The Department of Finance (DOF) and World Bank (WB) sealed the funding support for the government’s conditional cash transfer (CCT) program for the country’s poorest households.
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, on behalf of the Philippine government, and World Bank Country Director Mara Warwick signed yesterday the loan agreement providing an additional $300-million financing for the 4Ps.
The fresh funding agreement signed the DOF and the Washington-based lender covers the second phase of the Social Welfare Development and Reform Program.
According to Dominguez, the additional would further strengthen the 4Ps for the next three years and help the country achieve its goal of reducing poverty incidence to 14 percent by 2022 as well as deliver a comfortable life to every Filipino.
He said this CCT initiative, dubbed the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps, is an investment in the next generation of Filipinos who need to be prepared “to reap the benefits of the Philippines’ fast-approaching demographic dividend.”
CCT will also help boost early childhood development and fight malnutrition among 8.7 million children from some 4.2 million families currently benefitting from the 4Ps program.
The World Bank has contributed a total of $1.26 billion to the 4Ps since it first provided funding support for this program in 2010.
“The Bank has been a strong and reliable partner in the implementation of our conditional cash transfer initiative called the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps,” Dominguez said.
He cited the World Bank for its assistance in strengthening the capability of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as a social protection agency and the setting up of the “Listahanan” database for the 4Ps national household targeting system.
As the Listahanan database is gradually linked to the National ID system, the targeting of beneficiaries and the efficiency and effectiveness of the 4Ps and other social protection initiatives will dramatically improve, Dominguez noted.
He added the 4Ps is “an indispensable component of the more comprehensive effort to combat cross-generational poverty.”
“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,” Dominguez said.
“We will tirelessly work towards the full realization of this goal,” he added.