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Video January 21, 2022

Interview: Digital Social Protection Payments in the Philippines

During the initial phase of COVID-19 response, the Philippine government used manual processes and physical cash delivery. It was soon realized that such delivery mechanisms are unsafe and inefficient. Thus, efforts to shift cash transfer to digital payments followed through the partnership with financial service providers. As a result, the average waiting time to receive COVID-19 cash assistance went down significantly by about 45 minutes (170.3 minutes in the manual payment and 126.6 minutes in the digital payment with a large variation across different financial service providers and agents). We spoke with World Bank’s Yoonyoung Cho about the impact of digital transformation in the Philippines. Cho is a Senior Economist at the Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice in the Philippines and is the Task Leader of the Beneficiary FIRST social protection project and G2Px program.