Since 1957 when the government received its first World Bank loan, the Bank has financed irrigation and other agriculture-related infrastructure and rural development needs that have produced significant results for its citizens. In the last three decades, the Bank’s assistance expanded to a wide range of projects and analytical work, policy advice and capacity development in support of the country’s development agenda.
The Bank has expanded support for the agriculture and rural sector over the years. The Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP) Phase II promoted rural growth in southern Philippines, increasing the average household income of beneficiaries by about 36% by end-project on December 31, 2014, exceeding the target of 20% increase. The project was scaled up through the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) in 2014, which aims to increase rural incomes and enhance farm and fishery productivity and improvement of market access throughout the country. The project developed ICT-enabled tools such as geotagging and expanded vulnerability and suitability assessments in guiding public investments towards a modern, value-chain oriented, and climate resilient agriculture and fisheries sector.
The Participatory Irrigation Development Project (PIDP) is supporting the improvement of 58 irrigation systems throughout the country. From the beginning of 2011 to date, the project has rehabilitated and modernized irrigation infrastructure that serves 85,000 hectares benefiting more than 160,000 farmers and their families, and has provided organizational development and capacity building activities to more than 900 Irrigators Associations.
In education, the Bank’s assistance through the Learning, Equity and Accountability Program Support (LEAPS) Project, approved in March 2014, is supporting government efforts to improve early grade learning outcomes particularly for disadvantaged children. The project is also supporting efforts to reinvigorate the professional development of teachers, and provide extensive training in early language, literacy and numeracy to all principals and at least one teacher in each target region. The project is also helping develop staff and teacher performance monitoring system as well as strengthening school level accountability through improved school reporting.
The Bank is helping to protect poor and vulnerable families while keeping children healthy and in school. The Social Welfare and Development Reform Project (SWDRP) helped to bring about almost universal enrolment (98%) for poor children from 6-11 years old in project areas. The project supported the government’s conditional cash transfer program (CCT) or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, which helps poor households invest in the education and health of children aged 0-14 years. The program has made significant impact on reducing total poverty and food poverty among beneficiaries by up to 6.7 percentage points. It has grown to become one of the largest in the world. From 0.7 million households in 2009, it has supported more than 4.4 million households as of November 2015.
An important feature of the SWDRP is the national household targeting system for poverty reduction in the Philippines or Listahanan, reaching 4 out of 5 households across the country. At this scale, the Philippines is second to Brazil in rolling out a successful household targeting system to reach the poor and vulnerable. The objective selection of 5.1 million poor households in 2015 helps ensure that government programs are better targeted for those who need it most. Aside from the CCT, the database is also being used by 25 national programs including the Universal health program. To help ensure the continuity of the project, the Bank provided new funding that will contribute to the government’s financing of health and education grants for CCT beneficiaries nationwide from 2016-2019.
In health, the Philippines passed the landmark Sin Tax Law in 2012 with advisory and budgetary support from the Bank. The measure raised tobacco and alcohol taxes and allocated the revenues for universal health coverage. This more than doubled the budget of the Department of Health, expanding free health insurance from 5.2 million (2012) to 15.3 million families (2015) and contributing to a reduction in smoking prevalence from 29% (2012) to 25% (2015).
The Bank also brought groundbreaking interventions to help curb the spread of HIV in the country. Interventions among men-who-have-sex-with-men and people who inject drugs were at the frontier of global evidence on the best way to address and reverse the tide of the HIV epidemic among these key affected populations.
The poorest communities have benefited from projects that address their priority needs through a community-driven development approach. The Kapitbisig Laban Sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS) Project that closed in 2014 has reached approximately 1.2 million households, whose incomes rose by 12% . The project has been expanded across the country including areas devastated by typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in 2014 under the new National Community Driven Development Project. Some 14,000 community projects that provide access to basic services, roads and bridges as well as livelihood are benefiting 5.2 million households in over 19,000 of the poorest and most disaster-affected villages.
With its global expertise in post-disaster reconstruction, the Bank is working with development partners and the government in helping develop effective disaster recovery programs and building back better infrastructure and communities. The Bank is also providing a contingent line of credit to manage the risks posed by natural disasters. Combined with technical assistance to help strengthen investment planning and regulations to reduce disaster risk, this innovative financing will also help manage financial impacts and to ensure that resources are available for the government’s ongoing development programs.
The Bank’s assistance also extends to conflict-affected areas in the country, helping to support better governance, access to services, job creation and enhanced citizen security and justice. The Mindanao Trust Fund-Reconstruction and Development Program is supported by a range of development partners and has provided classrooms, access roads, post-harvest facilities, water supply systems and bridges, while at the same time promoting social cohesion for over 500,000 people in Mindanao since 2006. As of 2016, 225 villages across Mindanao have benefited from 379 community infrastructure and livelihood projects and support for community-enterprise development.
The Bank also actively supports the peace process between the Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front through technical and advisory services to various bodies set up to implement the March 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro. Ongoing analytical work such as the Mindanao Jobs Report supports job creation, while advisory work supports land conflict management, financial inclusion (including Islamic finance) and conflict resolution.
The Bank is also helping the government achieve its goal of improving quality and access to basic water supply and sanitation services and institutionalizing integrated water resources management. In Metro Manila, the Bank’s interventions contributed to a dramatic increase in 24-hour water supply: from 26% in 1997 to 99.6% in 2012 at the East Concession Area and 97.4% in 2015 at the West Concession Area, as it expanded coverage of sewerage, sanitation and septage management.
The benefits from the 1997 privatization of Manila Water have been significant. Assuming four people per household, water coverage rose from 1.3 million to about 6 million and 24-hour access to water increased from 26% to 99% post-privatization. The cost of paying for water connection also went down, from around $3 per cubic meter of water to $1.3 per cubic meter or 57% lower than what they paid pre-privatization. The investment has also resulted in significant health benefits, with incidences of diarrhea in the area falling almost 75% over the same period. Manila Water also reduced its water losses from 63% in 1997 to just 11% today.
Outside Metro Manila, the Bank has assisted water and sanitation service providers in improving efficiency and sustainability by strengthening local governments’ accountability and management systems on water supply and sanitation services for all, harnessing private sector participation. In rural areas, close to 90,000 households now have latrines while 40 municipalities in 18 provinces have participated in the Zero Open Defecation campaign as of September 2015.
Last Updated: Apr 15, 2016