Conditional Cash Transfer In The Philippines: An Effective Poverty Intervention?

6459 words - 26 pages

I. FACTS AND FIGURESIntroductionCompared to our neighboring countries, the Philippines is far delayed in its progress toward poverty reduction and faces challenges in achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG): eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, and promote gender equality. A slow-moving economic growth over the decades, led mostly by the service sector, did not generate sufficient job opportunities to lift Filipino workers and their families out of poverty. The country thus needs a new development model to benefit the poor. While poverty can be best diminished by economic growth, poverty reduction efforts should be supplemented by an adequate social protection system to relieve the poorest of the poor. The Philippines' social protection system has been fragmented, uncoordinated, and poorly targeted. The conditional cash transfer (CCT) program, which was initiated in 2007 by the Arroyo administration, is currently becoming a centerpiece of the social protection system in the country, under the Aquino administration. Although the program is well-prepared having been based on international experiences, it requires an efficient implementation and careful monitoring and evaluation to attain the expected goals. A CCT program with a rigorous impact evaluation offers an excellent opportunity, for both policy makers and development practitioners, to learn what works and what does not work as they seek for effective poverty interventions.Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps or CCT) is a human investment program for children through health and education and a poverty-reduction strategy that provides cash grants to extremely poor households to allow their family members to meet certain human development goals. It provides social assistance through health and education conditional cash grants to poor households with children 0-14 years old and/or pregnant women which are transferred upon the compliance of beneficiaries with the program conditionalities.Goals and Objectives1. To promote human capital development among poor families, especially children, to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty2. To improve the health condition of children age 0-14 years old3. To improve the maternal health of pregnant and lactating mothers4. To raise consumption of nutrient dense foods among poor households5. To increase enrolment/attendance of children in elementary/high school6. To encourage parent's participation in the growth and development of their children, and their involvement in the community.ConditionsAs the program stipulates, the provision of cash grant to poor households is based on beneficiaries' compliance with the conditions set forth by the program. These conditions includethe following:1. Pregnant women shall get pre natal care, childbirth shall be attended by skilled/trained health professionals, and mother shall get postnatal care thereafter.2....

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