New funding to help boost early childhood development and fight malnutrition among poor families
WASHINGTON, JUNE 27, 2019 — The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved a US$300 million loan to provide additional funding for the Philippines’ Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, or “4Ps”, a conditional cash transfer program currently benefiting 4.2 million families, including 8.7 million children.
4Ps provides cash grants to poor families to ensure that children stay healthy and in school, thus reducing school dropout rates, discouraging child labor, and enabling them to break free from poverty in adulthood.
Pregnant mothers receiving grants are required to get pre- and post-natal checks to help ensure safe motherhood. Parents attend “family development sessions” where they strengthen their knowledge of child care and are empowered to demand better and expanded social services from the government.
The World Bank has been supporting 4Ps over the last decade. In 2016, the World Bank approved a $450-million funding to help finance the health and education grants for CCT beneficiaries from 2016 to 2019, covering about seven percent of the total cost of the program’s implementation.
This new funding will finance cash transfers to poor families for a period of two years as well as help combat malnutrition and promote early childhood development. It will also provide technical assistance to the Philippine government to help strengthen implementation and impact, including more efficient payment systems, monitoring and evaluation, and family development sessions.
"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,” said Mara K. Warwick, World Bank Country Director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand. “Since 2008, the 4Ps has promoted safer birth deliveries and has improved poor children’s access to educational and health services. We are proud to support programs such as this that help millions of families overcome poverty.”
Implemented in 145 cities and 1,483 municipalities in the country, the 4Ps is responsible for a quarter of total poverty reduction in the country, according to the World Bank 2018 Poverty Assessment. Other achievements include:
- A 4.9 percent increase in enrollment among children 12-17 years old from a baseline of 80.4 percent;
- A 10 percent increase in enrollment among children 16-17 years old from a baseline of 60.8 percent;
- Thirty percent reduction in the enrollment gap between boys and girls ages 6-14; and
- Increased access by poor women to maternal and child health services such as antenatal care.
Of the total number of active beneficiary households, 41 percent are from Luzon, 21 percent from Visayas, and 38 percent from Mindanao, with the largest number of beneficiaries coming from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). Around 15 percent of the beneficiaries are members of indigenous communities.
Recently, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 11310, institutionalizing the 4Ps and providing higher cash subsidies for all beneficiaries. The law aims to “break the intergenerational cycle of poverty through investment in human capital and improvement of delivery of basic services to the poor, particularly education, health and nutrition.”
The annual budget for the 4Ps is US$1.7 billion. The additional funding from the World Bank will cover 9 percent of the 4Ps budget through June 2022.
Over the last decade, the Philippines has undertaken significant steps to build its social protection system. Besides the 4Ps, the government is updating the national household targeting system (Listahanan). It has also expanded its social pension program, and has provided livelihood opportunities for the poor, including food and other subsidies to compensate for higher inflation, and it is promoting use of cash transfers to respond to natural disasters.
Last Updated: Jun 27, 2019