Press Release
June 16, 2011


The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) told the Senate Oversight Committee on Public Expenditures this week that it needs P2 billion more for its conditional cash transfer program, but Senator Edgardo J. Angara expressed reservations about channeling more funds pending a comprehensive review.

DSWD Sec. Corazon Soliman said that the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4P's) has already exceeded its initial target due to advanced registration. Hence, the P17 billion allotted for distribution to grantees out of the P21.2 billion total budget will no longer be enough.

"The conditional cash transfer (CCT) model has achieved positive results in several Latin American countries. But before countries such as Mexico and Brazil expanded their CCT program to the scale we are aiming for, they first conducted a thorough qualitative study that assessed whether the CCT strategy was actually serving its purpose," said Angara, vice-chair of the Senate Committee on Finance.

Soliman said the DSWD plans to conduct a said study in partnership with the Social Weather Station (SWS) only by November of this year.

The 4P's was modelled after Mexico's Oportunidades program, touted as one of the most the most thoroughly evaluated social programs of its kind by World Bank economist Rodrigo Garcia-Verdu.

"The success of CCT programs around the world rests on how well they target intended beneficiaries, manage scant resources and prevent leakages. We can only determine these through a definitive impact assessment, which the 4P's still lacks," noted Angara.

The 4P's will provide financial assistance to 2.3 million of the 4.6 million poorest households this year that meet certain education and health performance indicators.

"The 4P's is only one way of providing social protection to our poor households. Over the long run, the government should prioritize creating job and livelihood opportunities, especially in the countryside," said Angara.

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