MANILA, Philippines – The World Bank is extending an additional US$100-million loan to help finance the Philippines’ Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program.
In a statement, the Washington-based lender said this will be able to cover the cash incentives for an additional 200,000 poor households in the country.
World Bank Country Director Motoo Konishi said the World Bank supports the CCT because it is well-targeted and directly helps poor households meet their basic needs, while improving human capital.
“International experience shows that CCT contributes towards reducing inequality. Combined with high and sustained economic growth, CCT as a form of social safety net provides an equitable foundation for inclusive growth — growth that works for the poor,” Konishi said.
“Over 30 countries worldwide are implementing CCT programs. These kinds of initiatives are among the fastest growing social safety net programs in the world today,” he added.
The bank estimates that around 3 million Filipino households are receiving modest cash subsidies from the country’s CCT program called “Pantawid Pamilya,” one of the major components of the country’s Social Welfare and Development Reform Project (SWDRP) implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and supported by the World Bank itself.
DSWD Secretary Corazon Soliman said the CCT program is part of a broader strategy of the country in fighting poverty under the Philippine Development Plan (PDP).
The PDP aims to achieve this goal through measures such as investments in infrastructure, transparent governance, higher investments in social protection programs like “Pantawid Pamilya,” and improved delivery of social services.
“Pantawid Pamilya helps reduce the vulnerability of households to sudden economic difficulties due to factors like natural calamities. Ultimately, it will help prevent the transmission of poverty from one generation to the next by helping today’s children become more productive members of society,” Soliman said.
In exchange for the subsidy from Pantawid Pamilya, poor households are required to keep their children between the ages 0-14 in school and take them to health stations for regular checks.
Pregnant mothers are also required to get proper prenatal and postnatal care, and their deliveries attended to by health professionals.
Currently, Pantawid Pamilya covers around 7.5 million children nationwide. – Rappler.com
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