THE World Bank said it approved a $300 million loan to help fund the Philippines’ conditional cash transfer program for two years.
In a statement Friday, the World Bank said that the loan will help promote early childhood development, fight malnutrition, as well as provide technical assistance to the government to strengthen implementation and impact of CCT, specifically by making payment systems more efficient payment.
The Philippines has an annual budget of $1.7 billion for the CCT known as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), which benefits 4.2 million families including 8.7 million children.
The additional funding from the World Bank is meant to cover 9% of the 4Ps budget until June 2022.
“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 Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, said in a statement.
In an emailed to BusinessWorld, Ms. Warwick said, “This is a continuation of an ongoing program. Hence, implementation is already underway and will be a seamless continuation.”
“Investing in solid and impactful social safety nets is the norm for upper middle-income economies to make sure that no one is left behind while at the same time continuing to invest in the human capital of future generations. Social protection programs help to move people out of poverty, improve human capital, which contributes to economic growth. This helps the country achieve higher-income status,” Ms. Warwick added.
The 4Ps are being implemented in 145 cities and 1,483 municipalities nationwide, and has been credited with about a quarter of poverty reduction achieved by the Philippines, according to the World Bank 2018 Poverty Assessment.
According to World Bank data, 41% of the beneficiaries are from Luzon, 21% from Visayas and 38% from Mindanao. Some 15% of the beneficiaries are from indigenous communities, World Bank data showed.
In 2016, the World Bank approved $450 million worth of funding for health and education grants for CCT beneficiaries between 2016 and 2019. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio