Since the Philippines government received its first World Bank loan in 1957, the Bank’s development projects in the country have produced significant results for its people. In the past decades, the Bank’s assistance has expanded to a wide range of projects and analytical work, policy advice, and capacity development in support of the country’s development agenda.
Highlights of some projects and results
The Philippines COVID-19 Emergency Response Project supported the country’s efforts to scale up national vaccination, strengthen the country’s health systems, and overcome the impact of the pandemic especially on the poor and the most vulnerable. Project has helped the Philippines ramp vaccination up by supporting procurement of at least 33 million doses of vaccines. The World Bank-financed vaccines are among the first vaccines used for pediatric vaccination, benefitting 7.5 million children all over the Philippines. (With the support of development partners including the World Bank, the Philippines has already administered more than 137 million vaccines – of which more than 126 million are first and second doses, and more than 10 million booster doses – as of March 9, 2022. The ramping up of vaccination has enabled the authorities to open more economic activities, allowing the country to grow 5.6 percent in 2021. The project has also helped scale up testing capacity, from 1,000 RT-PCR tests per day at the start of the pandemic to 24,979 per day presently. It also has also facilitated purchase of 500 mechanical ventilators, 119 portable x-ray machines, 70 infusion pumps, 50 RT-PCR machines, 68 ambulances, as well as other medical equipment and supplies crucial for improving the country’s COVID-19 response.
The Social Welfare and Development Reform Project II (SWDRP II) has been supporting the government’s conditional cash transfer program (CCT), known as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), which helps low-income households invest in the education and health of children up to 18 years old.
The 4Ps has made significant impacts in reducing total poverty and food insecurity among beneficiaries, and has grown to become one of the largest CCT programs in the world, supporting more than 4 million households as of October 2021. The program is being implemented in 146 cities and 1,481 municipalities across 80 provinces throughout the country.
The program is estimated to have reduced total poverty in 2017 in the Philippines by 1.3 percentage points: from an estimated pre-Pantawid rate of 19.8% to a post-Pantawid rate of 18.5%. In addition, the program’s poverty focus helped reduce national income inequality by 0.6 percentage point from 46.8% pre-Pantawid to 46.2% post-Pantawid. The 4Ps has increased gross enrollment rates for children ages 12–17 by 4.9 percentage points from a baseline of 80.4%, and by 10 percentage points (from a baseline of 60.8%) for those ages 16-17. Pantawid is encouraging poor women to use maternal and child health services, such as antenatal care. Nearly 8 in 10 pregnant women of Pantawid households have the recommended number of prenatal check-ups.
More recently, 4Ps played an important role to help low-income households better cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, Pantawid beneficiaries were close to 10 percentage points more food secure than other low-income families during the pandemic when about 56% of households in the study reported at least one household member reducing meals in the past 7 days due to lack of resources. Also, 4Ps beneficiaries also maintained a higher likelihood of seeking health care service for their children, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To mitigate the pandemic’s impact on poor households, the Philippines Beneficiary FIRST Social Protection Project was initiated to complement the ongoing SWDRP II’s support to the 4Ps. Beneficiary FIRST is helping the government harness digital tools to modernize social protection delivery, focusing on digital ID, digital payments, and digital data, in addition to supporting 4Ps.The poorest communities have benefited from projects that address their priority needs through a community-driven development approach. By the end of December 2020, the National Community-Driven Development Project (NCDDP) covered a total of 17,674 barangays (villages) in 828 municipalities in 14 regions, benefitting 8.3 million households. It funded a total of 31,054 community sub-projects, all of which have been completed. Around 35.54% of the sub-projects done by communities were access services (e.g. village roads, footbridges, footpaths), followed by social services (e.g. day-care centers, classrooms, health stations) at 29.9%. A total of 1,890,006 community volunteers have been mobilized with women holding 63% of leadership positions in the community volunteer committees.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) adjusted the existing Disaster Risk Operational Modality (DROM) guidelines of NCDDP, expanding the menu of sub-projects to support community-based activities in terms of preparedness and/or early recovery/early rehabilitation responses to the pandemic. By the end of 2020, NCDDP implemented the adjusted DROM in 2,158 barangays or villages in 136 municipalities. The Project supported 2,399 community sub-projects in response to the pandemic, benefiting around 630,884 households. Most of the community sub-projects were: (i) establishment or upgrading of community facilities to serve as isolation unit in accordance with the DOH protocols; (ii) provision of additional facilities and/or equipment as well as PPEs to enable the community health workers to detect possible cases of COVID-19; and (iii) installation of water and sanitation facilities. The DROM for the COVID-19 response also provided temporary employment through a cash-for-work scheme for more than 38,000 community workers (39%).
In 2021 the NCDDP Additional Financing (US$300 m) initiated implementation preparation and community-level mobilization started effectively started in August 2021. As of end of December 2021, the Project has reached a total of 532 municipalities (covering 13,956 poor barangays) of the 676 target municipalities. Sub-project implementation in the first set of municipalities should be completed by end of March 2022. The Additional Financing focuses on continued support for COVID-19 response and recovery using the DROM, but is also providing support for communities affected by typhoon Odette in December 2021.
To strengthen the government’s capacity to address disaster risks, respond to and recover from natural disasters, the Bank has provided the Third Disaster Risk Management Development Policy Loan. The financing also supports urgent needs created by the COVID-19 crisis. This is combined with technical assistance to help enhance the capacity of national and local governments in preparing disaster recovery plans and developing strategies to finance recovery efforts. With its global expertise in post-disaster reconstruction, the Bank has been working with the government in helping develop effective disaster recovery programs and building back better infrastructure and communities. The Ready to Rebuild (R2R) program was launched to train communities to be more prepared – to build a culture of preparedness to help local governments and communities anticipate the impacts of disasters and prepare recovery plans even before disasters hit. A total of 197 provinces and cities from all 17 regions in the country have undergone training, including those struck by Typhoon Rai. This translates to 924 governors, mayors, and technical staff.
The Bank’s assistance extends to conflict-affected areas in the country, providing support for service delivery, skills development, and enhanced participatory processes. Supported by five countries and the European Union, the Mindanao Trust Fund (MTF) (2005-2021) aimed to promote peace and development in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao. The MTF funded a series of three Reconstruction and Development Projects (RDPs), which fostered inclusive social and economic recovery, social cohesion, and participatory governance through a community-driven development approach, mainly in the area that in 2019 became the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
Through RDP 1 and RDP 2, more communities in the region have had better access to clean water, better roads, farming and fishing equipment, and more post-harvest facilities. Six ex-combatant camps also benefitted from functional literacy and livelihood skills programs.
The final phase, RDP 3 provided for the construction of health stations across six communities, including birthing rooms, midwife stations, small pharmacies, and basic medical equipment to benefit 13,000 individuals in remote areas. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these facilities have provided isolation facilities, care for COVID cases, and vaccinations. The project also financed the construction of 13 community sub-projects such as roads, water systems, post-harvest facilities, among others that benefitted approximately 32,000 individuals, half of whom are women. Productivity and skills trainings were also offered that enlisted 1,297 trainees (half were women). The RDP3 socio-economic interventions translated to increased savings and incomes, better agricultural yields, and food security for conflict-affected families and communities.
The World Bank was selected by the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to administer a new multi-donor trust fund to support Normalization, the track of the peace process that covers decommissioning and transformation of camps into peaceful and productive communities. The new Bangsamoro Normalization Trust Fund (BNTF) is in the process of launching project activities, building on the achievements of the MTF.
In 2017, the IFC launched the Philippine typhoon insurance project to help protect Filipino farmers and their crops from losses related to typhoons. IFC supported The Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD) – the largest microfinance institution (MFI) in the Philippines, with four million clients – and CARD Pioneer Micro-Insurance (CPMI), a joint venture between Pioneer Insurance and CARD, in the development and administration of crop-insurance products.
The typhoon insurance product is the first private sector-led crop insurance policy in the Philippines. As of June 2021, more than 29,000 farmers in 12 provinces have purchased the typhoon insurance product, packaged with loans. To date, 27,000 policies, which are bundled with agricultural loans, have been sold in 12 provinces. The product has an average claims settlement time of two-to-five days, and currently retails with no premium subsidy support from the government. More than 7,000 farmers have received payouts, including around 800 farmers hit by Typhoon Ompong in 2018 and around 10 who were hit by Typhoon Goni in November 2020. CPMI is now working with IFC to develop an insurance product for drought-prone farmers, as well as innovative partial stop loss/reinsurance solutions to help expand this nascent market while also keeping premiums affordable.
The Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) has been helping raise rural incomes, enhance farm and fishery productivity, and improve market access throughout the country since it started in 2015. It has been supporting provincial planning, rural infrastructure, and agriculture enterprise development. It has been using tools such as geotagging, value chain analysis, and expanded vulnerability and suitability assessments to help guide public investments toward a modern, value-chain oriented, and climate-resilient agriculture and fisheries sector.
The project has helped support provincial planning for priority agricultural commodities and investments in all 81 provinces of the country. Since 2015, the project has benefitted over 562,000 farmer and fisherfolk beneficiaries, 48% of them are female beneficiaries. At least an additional 480,000 are and will be benefitting from ongoing and pipeline subprojects including water supply and irrigation. The project has also constructed and rehabilitated over 1,400 kilometers of farm-to-market roads (about 1,000 kilometers more are underway). These resulted in reduction of travel time by 31% and reduction in transport costs by 25%. Results of a household survey indicate that farmers and fisher households benefitting from completed infrastructure and agricultural enterprise subprojects gained 36% increase in annual household real income.
In June 2021, the PRDP received US$280 million additional investment and €18.3 million grant to build on the gains achieved by PRDP.
Last Updated: Mar 28, 2022