The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) today issued a clarification regarding circulating reports that the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is set to end in 2019 and that millions of beneficiaries will be cut off from the support provided by the national government through the program.
DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo said that the 4Ps itself is not set to end in 2019, only the counterpart financing of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will.
Sec. Taguiwalo said that what is ending in 2019 – specifically on Dec. 31, 2019 — is the Social Welfare and Development Reform Project II (SWDP II) loan number 8584-PH which costs US $450M. This is funded by the World Bank.
The Project Development Objective (PDO) is to support the National Program Support for Social Protection of DSWD to improve the use of health and education services of poor children. It will do so by supporting the implementation of the Pantawid Pamilya Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Program. By “poor children”, it refers to children aged 0-18 years old from families participating in the CCT Program and identified as poor in the national targeting system.
This project contributes to the financing of the DSWD’s conditional cash transfer program from 2016 to 2019 as endorsed by the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) and whose total cost is projected at US$ 5.84 billion. The amount of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) funding is US$ 450 million (estimated at 7.7 percent of the total CCT cost in 2016-2019).
“This loan covenant with the World Bank will end in 2019. The loan with the ADB which costs US$400 will end on June 30, 2020. We have not made any categorical decision to end 4Ps by 2019 even as we have already stated our stand that it should not be institutionalized,” she said.
Sec. Taguiwalo said that the DSWD continues to conduct its review of the program, its implementation on the ground, its financing, and its over-all management. The review program called “Kamustahan” and the recertification process continue to be implemented.
“We have no plans to discontinue the 4Ps by 2019, but the program itself continues to be subject to review and improvements. For instance, one of the more important assessment points concerns the general membership of the program and how large the percentage of it actually qualify for the program in terms of their poverty levels and the needs of their families. We are assessing the program based on the experiences of inclusion/exclusion. We also want to impose protective measures that will safeguard the program from the political influence at the community and local government level,” she said.
Sec. Taguiwalo said that the ongoing 4Ps program review is being done also in line with efforts to review the Philippine social protection framework. There is an evident need to put together a social protection framework which is in line with the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) that aims for a more universal and transformative kind of social protection scheme.
The welfare secretary also said that at the immediate, the DSWD is focusing on the payout delays and strategizing measures to improve/shorten current Pantawid compliance verification of households.
“We are also addressing the complications we are experiencing because we only have one government depository bank handling the payout – the LandBank. #