MANILA, Philippines – The government’s anti-poverty initiative Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) will no longer be funded by a World Bank loan after 2019.
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said on Monday, July 17, that the $450-million loan will end on December 31, 2019.
The World Bank, through Social Welfare and Development Reform Project II (SWDP II) loan number 8584-PH, has partly financed the 4Ps implementation since 2016.
Though the loan is ending, Taguiwalo clarified that the Philippines’ version of conditional cash transfer will still be operational.
“The loan covenant with the World Bank will end in 2019. The loan with the Asian Development Bank… will end on June 30, 2022,” said Taguiwalo.
“We have not made any categorical decision to end 4Ps by 2019 even as we have already stated our stand that it should not be institutionalized,” she added.
The social welfare chief also said they are assessing the program by conducting the “Kamustahan” where officials and staff do field work to check on the status of the beneficiaries.
The program currently has 4 million beneficiaries. The DSWD has imposed a moratorium on accepting new applicants until after its review.
Among the things they are checking is the percentage of beneficiaries who are actually qualified for the program in terms of their poverty levels.
Taguiwalo also said they are now focused on assessing the delays in the payout of the Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) and on shortening the compliance verification of households.
The Commission on Audit (COA) recently found that there are P1.42 billion in cash grants that have been idle in more than two million accounts.
COA recommended that the DSWD conduct a validation of the beneficiaries since it seems they are not “in need of financial assistance.”
4Ps National Program Director Leonardo Reynoso explained that 706,000 of the beneficiaries are now enrolled in the manual payout scheme and not through Landbank.
Reynoso said it took time for Landbank to process the closure of the accounts that have shifted to manual payout. – Rappler.com