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SPECIAL FEATURE Eradicating Poverty and Building Human Development: A Preliminary Study of the Challenges Confronting the Pantawid Pamilya Program Marivic R. Raquiza1 Co-Convenor, Social Watch Philippines Abstract The Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps), a conditional cash transfer program, represents the Philippine government’s effort to break inter-generational transmission of poverty and improve human development. This paper discusses the results of a preliminary evaluation of the program in two of the 4Ps pilot areas. The main objectives of the study are the following: (1) to get the household-beneficiaries’ perceptions on the program’s effectiveness, (2) to surface some issues in relation to consumption, health and education outcomes, gender inequality, conditionalities, community mobilization, supply side and demand side interventions, exit and complementation strategies, among others; and, (3) to provide policy recommendations. A key finding is that while beneficiaries recognized that cash grants improve their access to food as well as medical and school supplies, they expressed that what will get them out of poverty is access to stable employment.

1. INTRODUCTION The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) is an anti-poverty program prioritized by the Aquino administration, a policy position that was first adopted during the previous administration. Implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the 4Ps is aimed at reducing extreme poverty and promoting the human development of the poorest households. It is also intended to address the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of reducing poverty and hunger (goal 1), achieving universal primary education (goal 2), reducing child mortality (goal 4), improving maternal health (goal 5), and promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment (goal 3) (Pablo et al 2009). Officially launched in late 2007, the 4Ps is the Philippine government’s version of the conditional cash transfer (CCT). Cash transfers are tools that governments have been using to address the problems of poverty and inequality. The United Nations, in its 2005 Report on the World Situation, claimed that cash transfers, particularly for families living in extreme poverty, “are essential to changing the intergenerational transmission of poverty and inequality.” Over the past decade, the CCT has become a popular poverty reduction strategy in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Its main objective, in the short-term, is to reduce poverty, and, in the long-term, break the transmission of poverty across generations towards increase in human capital through the provision of support in the areas of education and health.


Assistant Professor, National College of Public Administration and Governance, University of the Philippines Diliman 118  

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What are some factors that may affect education and health outcomes? This paper will offer some ideas based on the results of a 2009 preliminary household study conducted by Social Watch in two communities designated as 4Ps pilot sites. The study focused on poverty, education, health, and on the perceptions of beneficiaries of the effects of the 4Ps. The first section of this paper presents the research’s objectives, methodology and limitations. The second part provides an overview of cash transfers as utilized by various countries to combat poverty, while the third section discusses the 4Ps—its origin, operating mechanics, selection of provinces, municipalities and households, access to funds and program institutionalization. The fourth section discusses the results of the household study. The last section concludes. 2. RESEARCH OBJECTIVES, METHODOLOGY, AND LIMITATIONS 2.1. Objectives and Methodology The main objectives of this paper are the following: (1) to conduct a preliminary study of the 4Ps based the perception of household-beneficiaries, (2) to surface some issues in relation to consumption, health and education outcomes, family relations, conditionalities, supply side, exit and complementation strategies, among others; and (3) identify some policy recommendations. Basing the 4Ps evaluation on household-beneficiaries’ perceptions flows from the participatory approach that views the poor not simply as objects of study, but - as Paolo Friere articulated in Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1970) – as subjects and active agents who are in a position to speak out and make decisions about their own poverty conditions. In fact, evidence points to increased success rates of projects where stakeholders had a significant say in all stages of a project’s life. Social Watch Philippines conducted a household study in early 2009 in two communities- one rural and one urban- where the 4Ps had been operational for at least a year. Since the study aimed to gauge the effects of the 4Ps based on the evaluation of the respondents, it was necessary to limit respondents to those who have been with the program for at least one year. This was how Sibagat, in the province of Agusan del Sur, and in Riverside Tramo in Pasay City in Metro Manila, both 4Ps pilot areas, were identified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as areas from where to choose respondents. This study is exploratory in nature and designed to identify issues that can provide insights on the effectiveness of the 4Ps and to explore areas for further studies. A survey was conducted in the two identified program areas using purposive non-probability sampling methodology. DSWD was asked to furnish the researchers with a list of their household grantees in the particular areas who have been under the program for at least one year and have actually received the grant. The survey covered a total number of 160 respondents spread equally in the two sites. The second part of the questionnaire which focused on the respondents' experience in relation to the 4Ps program contained questions which allowed multiple responses. Of 21 questions, 8 had allowed for multiple responses but did not ask for any ranking. An example of such questions was: How was the cash grant spent? And the choices or possible responses are - Food, utilities (such as water, electricity, LPG), education (school supplies), Medicines/Medical services, Capital, Transportation, and Others. Two field researchers, one for Pasay City, and one for Sibagat, conducted the interviews using a structured questionnaire which was pre-tested. The completed and valid survey questionnaires


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were encoded and processed using SPSS to generate frequency tables and cross-tabulations. Data integrity checks were done to ensure encoding accuracy and data consistency before finalizing the statistical tables. Interviews were also conducted by or with officials of the Departments of Social Welfare and Development, Health, Education, and the World Bank. 2.2. Limitations This is an exploratory study on the initial effects of the 4Ps based on the perception of household-beneficiaries. It is not an impact evaluation of the 4Ps, since at the time of the study, the 4Ps had just completed a one-year project run, making it premature to attempt to measure impact, especially in relation to health and education outcomes. Instead, the objective of the study was to identify possible factors or indicators that may affect health and education outcomes and to identify other areas for further inquiry. Because of budgetary constraints, random sampling was not undertaken and only 160 respondents could be accommodated. Furthermore, DSWD identified the respondents to be interviewed in the pilot areas. One issue that arises in relation to the participatory approach is, to quote Amartya Sen: ‘people’s own assessment of their own condition can overlook their objective condition and can be biased as a result of limited information and social conditioning’(Laderchi, et al 2001). 3. CASH TRANSFER PROGRAMS: AN OVERVIEW Cash transfers are tools that governments have been using to address the problem of poverty and inequality. The United Nations, in its 2005 Report on the World Situation: The Inequality Predicament, points out that cash transfers, particularly for families living in extreme poverty ‘are essential to changing the inter-generational transmission of poverty and inequality.’ A number of African countries provide cash transfers to alleviate conditions of poverty for the poorest segments of their population. Mauritius and Namibia, since the 1950s, have implemented universal pension schemes; Mozambique has a non-contributory social transfer for those unable to work; South Africa runs large programs for old age pension, disability grants, and child support grants (Degol and Soares 2008). The focus of this paper, however, is a particular type of cash transfer called conditional cash transfer or CCT, now a popular poverty reduction strategy in many developing countries around the world. The CCT programs in various countries share similar key components, most notably cash transfers to poor households in support of education and health needs. The transfers are contingent on the beneficiaries’ sustained compliance with conditionalities such as continued school-attendance of child beneficiaries and regular visits to health centers by women and children. In many cases, women are often designated as recipients of the cash transfers, because 120    

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of the assumption that women are more inclined to invest in the human development of their families, especially their children. The CCT program, pioneered in Mexico and Brazil in the late 1990s and the early years of the next decade, respectively, has been touted a success in reducing poverty and inequality, and on this basis, has served as impetus to implement the program, with the enthusiastic backing of donors (Britto 2005), in many of parts of Latin America and elsewhere. Numerous evaluations of CCT, particularly in Latin America, show which conditions and development strategies lead to optimal outcomes. They also identify serious challenges confronting CCTs (Berhman, Todd and Parker 2011; Lund, Nobles, Barnes and Wright 2008; Das, Do, and Ozler 2008). While many of the evaluations show robust success in meeting certain outcome indicators (e.g., increasing school enrollment rates, improving preventive healthcare and raising household consumption), many questions about CCT programs remain unanswered (Rawlings and Rubio 2005). Among these are questions that revolve around which kind of intervention (the cash grant or conditionality) brings about changes in human behavior and whether short-term changes will translate into long-term impact in terms of human development and poverty reduction (ibid). Furthermore, it is important to mention that the success of a CCT program in one country is no guarantee that it will succeed elsewhere (Son, 2008) such as when there are serious supply-side constraints or weak administrative capability of the implementing agency. 4. THE PANTAWID PAMILYANG PILIPINO PROGRAM (4PS) 4.1. The origins of the 4Ps The CCT program first caught the attention of Philippine government officials in June 2006, when they attended the Third International Conference on Conditional Cash Transfers in Istanbul, Turkey upon the invitation of the World Bank. In October of the same year, the World Bank organized an inter-agency conference in the Philippines and invited a CCT expert from Colombia to provide technical advice, after which the DSWD received technical assistance from the World Bank for its reform agenda under the National Sector Support for Social Welfare and Development Reform Project (NSS-SWDRP). The program areas for reform were the following: (1) National Sector Support for Social Welfare and Development; (2) Social Protection Reforms; (3) Financial Reforms; and (4) Systems and Capacities Reforms, with the 4Ps as one of the components. In a Cabinet meeting in March 2007, then-DSWD Secretary Esperanza Cabral presented the 4Ps to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The president immediately approved the program and raised the number of beneficiaries from 20,000 to over 300,000. Why she scaled-up the program has been given a number of explanations, one of which is worth repeating. According to one interviewee, the dramatic increase in target beneficiaries may be attributed to a confluence of events. Around the time of the March 2007 Cabinet meeting, the National Statistics Coordination Board released the results of the 2006 Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES), which showed a marked increase in poverty. The FIES came at the heels of the Education Summit, where results revealed falling enrollment rates and increasing drop-out rates at both elementary and high school levels. According to the interviewee, it was in this context


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that the 4Ps was approved and the number of beneficiaries increased to address deteriorating social and economic indicators. With World Bank support, DWSD officials visited Colombia in May 2007 to study its Familias In Accion program, particularly its targeting mechanisms, selection processes, funding requirements, and other operational procedures. In September 2007, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, or 4Ps, was formally launched. 4.2. Operating mechanics The 4Ps offers the following health and education cash grants to beneficiary-households: (1) PhP500 a month per household, or PhP6,000 a year, for preventive health check-ups and vaccines of pregnant women and of children with ages five years old and below; (2) PhP300 a month per child, or PhP3,000 a year, for his/her educational expenses for one school year (10 months). The educational assistance is given to each household for a maximum of three children. To be eligible, children should be between 3 to 14 years of age and enrolled either in a day-care program or in elementary school. Thus a household with three qualified children can get a subsidy of PhP1,400 per month, or PhP15,000 a year, for a maximum of five years. The program has six conditionalities that beneficiary-families must comply with: 1) Pregnant mothers of the household shall get pre-natal care; childbirth shall be attended by skilled/trained health professionals; and mothers shall get post-natal care thereafter. 2) Children 0-5 years old shall get regular preventive health check-ups and receive immunizations, such as BCG, DPT-OPV, anti-measles and hepatitis vaccines. 3) Children 6-14 years old shall receive de-worming pills twice a year (scheduled every five months, or every January and July of the elementary school year). 4) Children 3-5 years old shall go to day-care/pre-school classes and attend 85% of the time. 5) Children 6-14 years old must be enrolled in school and should attend classes 85% of the time. 6) Household grantees and their spouses should attend sessions on parenting education, responsible parenthood, mothers’ classes, and on other topics that are relevant to their needs and interests. They should do so at least once a month.2 4.3. Selection of provinces, municipalities, and households A two-step procedure is undertaken in the selection of provinces, municipalities, and households. First, the DSWD conducts geographic targeting of the poorest provinces and municipalities using data from the 2006 FIES of the National Statistics Coordination Board and the 2003 Small Area Poverty Estimates (SAEs), respectively. The second step is targeting poor households based on an assessment of their socio-economic conditions, using proxy variables that determine the estimated annual per capita income of households.3 This two-step procedure is one of the most                                                                                                                       2

DSWD, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps): Conditional cash transfer program improving human capital investment of the poor. Examples of the 27 proxy variables used to estimate total household incomes for qualified beneficiaries are family assets, household composition, educational level, and access to education and health services (DSWD) 3


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expensive operational items in the 4Ps budget, according to DSWD Undersecretary Luwalhati Pablo.4 4.4. Access to funds Program funds are centralized with the DSWD and disbursed to beneficiary-families in a number of ways such as through the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) Cash Card Program, where cash is accessed through automated teller machines (ATMs); or through local government units (LGUs) or school offices, particularly in remote or far-flung areas where there are no Land Bank facilities.5 Funds are released to the mother, perceived to be the “most responsible adult person in the household.” On a monthly basis, the 4Ps Project Management Office (PMO) verifies beneficiary compliance before disbursing payments. Beneficiaries are listed under the program payroll, which is updated monthly. The national-level PMO processes the payments and coordinates with the LBP-Batasan Hills branch for funds release. The latter, in turn, coordinates with LBP’s provincial and city branches for the release of cash grants. DSWD regional offices then coordinate the schedules of payment with the local government units for their respective beneficiary-families (Pablo et al 2009). 5. FIELD STUDY RESULTS 5.1. Introduction The field survey undertaken by Social Watch Philippines covered 160 household-beneficiaries taken from one rural and one urban community: 80 rural households were selected from six barangays of Sibagat, Agusan del Sur (Figure 1); another 80 households were selected from Barangay 156, Zone 16 in Tramo Riverside, Pasay City (Figure 2). Figure 1. Sibagat, Agusan del Sur


                                                                                                                      4 5

Interview, 25 June 2009. Interview with Desiree Fajardo, DSWD Finance Director, 23 July 2009.


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Figure 2. Location map of Pasay City and Tramo Riverside

(Sources: and

Many of the family-respondents consisted of 5-6 members. The average number of children in these households was 4.24. The household data show that there are children in all age brackets: infants, those below schoolage, and those of school-going age (elementary and high school levels). Twenty (20) of the 160 household-respondents, or some 12%, also did not have children between the ages of 0 to 16, which raises the question of how these families were able to qualify as beneficiaries. Already, this underscores the issue of targeting, pointing to inclusion errors (when ineligible household families are included in the program). An overwhelming majority (70.9%) of the Sibagat respondents became members of the 4Ps in 2007, while a big majority (67.1%) of the Pasay City respondents became members in 2008. In both areas though, an overwhelming majority, 98.7% in Sibagat, and 93.6% in Riverside Tramo, Pasay, received their first cash grants in 2008. 5.2. How cash grant was spent Most respondents spent their cash grant on education, food and medical assistance (see Table 1).


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Table 1. Cash grant spending How was cash grant spent? Food Utilities (water, electricity, LPG)

N 126 16

Per cent of Cases 78.8% 10.0%

Home furniture, appliances, etc Education (school supplies, school projects )

6 135

3.8% 84.4%

Medical assistance (purchase of medicines and vitamins) Financial assistance



Transportation Others



19 29

11.9% 18.1%

In Sibagat the cash grant was spent on the following, in order of priority: education, medical assistance, and food. The same spending pattern was seen among the Pasay City respondents, albeit with a slight difference in priority: education, food, and medical assistance. Additionally, a significant percentage of the urban respondents cited spending for ‘transportation’ (21.3%), and for ‘utilities’ (18.8%). Table 2. Cash grant spending: rural-urban How was the cash grant spent? Count % within Area Utilities (water, electricity, LPG) Count % within Area Home furniture, appliances, etc Count % within Area Education (school supplies) Count % within Area Medical assistance Count % within Area Financial assistance Count % within Area Transportation Count % within Area Others Count % within Area Food

Rural 60 75.0% 1 1.3% 6 7.5% 64 80.0% 61 76.3% 1 1.3% 2 2.5% 9 11.3%

Urban 66 82.5% 15 18.8% 0 .0% 71 88.8% 60 75.0% 7 8.8% 17 21.3% 20 25.0%

Total 126 16 6 135 121 8 19 29

In terms of decision-making over cash grant spending, an overwhelming number of respondents said that the mothers solely decide on how to use the cash grant. This is true for both Sibagat and Pasay City (Table 3).


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Table 3. Decision-making on cash grant spending: rural-urban Who decides how grant will be spent? Mother Count % within Area



65 81.25%

62 77.5%

Total 127 79.4%


Count % within Area

1 1.25%

3 3.8%

4 2.5%

Both mother and father

Count % within Area

12 15.0%

13 16.3%

25 15.6%

Other elderly members of the Count household % within Area

2 2.5%

2 2.5%

4 2.5%

80 100.0%

80 100.0%

160 100.0%


Count % within Area

5.3. Health services received during the 4Ps and targeting issues Prior to the 4Ps an overwhelming majority of the respondents accessed the following public health services: medicine for simple illnesses (88.3%), general check-up (75.2%), and vaccination (64.8%). Upon implementation of the 4Ps in both areas, the types of health services accessed remained the same but availment rates declined. Table 4. Health services accessed prior to 4Ps and in 2008-2009

Vaccination General health check up Pre-natal check up Medicine for simple illness (cough, cold and fever) Medicine for complicated illness Family planning services Education, seminar, lecture Others

Services accessed prior to 4Ps 64.8 % 75.2% 51.7% 88.3%

Services accessed in 2008-2009 29.2% 65.7% 6.6% 67.2%



25.5% 30.3% 9%

3.6% 5.1% 13.9%

This preliminary finding shows that the initial entry of the 4Ps in the lives of householdbeneficiaries do not only show a lack of improvement, but a dramatic decline in the availment of health services. One reason cited for reduced availment rates, particularly for vaccination, prenatal check-ups and family planning services is that many of the children covered were past the age of immunization, and that many mothers were past the stage of pregnancy. The latter observation was in fact validated by the field researchers who stated that many mothers said they no longer were in need of such services. If this is the case, this points to serious inclusion errors. Why were household beneficiaries included when many of the services provided by the 4Ps are no longer relevant to them? This observation however needs further validation in light of the small size of respondents and the fact that their answers were based on memory recall. 126  

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Significant exclusion errors in the National Household Targeting System (NHTS) also arise, particularly in the use of the 2003 Small Area Estimates which provide the basis for choosing the poorest municipalities and cities (CPBRD, 2011). Through geographic targeting, 755 cities and municipalities are immediately screened out of the selection process, leaving the poor who live in these places excluded from the onset. According to a Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department (CPBRD) report, some 40% of the poor are not covered by the 4Ps (2011). Inclusion and exclusion errors notwithstanding, it is important to note that the 4Ps only targets a sub-set of the poor. Other poor and vulnerable groups like poor senior citizens, the chronically sick or the unemployed poor are not necessarily covered by the program. Support for poor families without children, or the burgeoning millions of out-of-school youth, fall outside the scope of the program as well. As such, other anti-poverty programs designed to address the other dimensions of poverty must likewise be prioritized by government or else risk being perceived as privileging 4Ps beneficiaries over and above other types of poor and vulnerable segments of the population.6 5.4. Education services during the 4Ps The majority of families who received an education grant under the program had one to two children enrolled at the elementary level. A big majority of respondents were not receiving support for high school education; conversely, only about 30 per cent of respondents had one to two children receiving high school grants. This pattern is true for both Sibagat and Pasay City respondents. 5.5. Observed changes in health as a result of the 4Ps Prior to the 4Ps, a majority of respondents in the rural and urban areas had already been visiting the health center at least once a year (Tables 5 and 6). During the 4Ps the number of beneficiaries undertaking

one to three visits a year slightly rose in both rural and urban areas, while those with more frequent visits (four to six times) slightly decreased in both areas. A general observation is that frequency of visits to health centers did not significantly change during the implementation of the 4Ps. According to one of the field researchers, one reason cited for this is that since household-beneficiaries can now buy medicines and vitamins, there is less need to go to health centers. This point is underscored by the complaints noted by one of the field researchers who observed that since medicines in public health centers are quite limited, many 4Ps beneficiaries used part of the cash grant to buy medicines and vitamins.

Table 5. Frequency of visits to health center: rural                                                                                                                       6

Note that in 2009, budgetary allocation for the 4Ps viz total DSWD budget was 47.3%. Today, in the National Expenditure Program for 2012, the 4Ps comprise 80.2% of total departmental budget. Other programs for other poor and vunerable groups like People With Disabilities, victims of disasters/calamities and street children, all have to make do with the remaining amount. (Social Watch-Alternative Budget Report, 2012) 127  

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Frequency of health center visits (Rural) Before 4Ps

First year after 4Ps

No visit made

Count % within Area

10 12.5%

8 10%

1-3 visits in a year

Count % within Area

20 25.0%

26 32.5%

4-6 visits in a year

Count % within Area

30 37.5%

25 31.3%

7-9 visits in a year

Count % within Area

10 12.5%

13 16.3%

10-12 visits in a year Monthly

Count % within Area Count

10 12.5% 0

7 8.8% 0


% within Area Count

0% 0

0% 1


% within Area Count

0% 80

1.3% 80

% within Area



Table 6. Frequency of visits to health center: urban Frequency of health center visits (urban) Before 4Ps No visit made

A year after 4Ps

1-3 visits in a year

Count % within Area Count

3 3.8% 38

12 15.0% 40

4-6 visits in a year

% within Area Count

47.5% 18

50.0% 16

7-9 visits in a year

% within Area Count

22.5% 6

20.0% 6

10-12 visits in a year

% within Area Count

7.5% 5

7.5% 4


% within Area Count

6.3% 7

5.0% 0

% within Area Count % within Area

8.8% 3 3.8%

0% 2 2.5%

Count % within Area

80 100.0%

80 100.0%

Others Total

A significant percentage of the respondents said that, as a result of the 4Ps, they now had enough food for the family. A few mentioned that, ‘mas natutugunan ang requests ng mga bata sa pagkain’ (we are now able to meet the food requests of children), and ‘nakakatikim na ng masarap na pagkain’ (we are now able to taste delicious food). Some families no longer had to 128  

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reduce food spending just to send their children to school. As some respondents said, ‘ang budget para sa pagkain ay di na nagagalaw para sa pag-aaral ng mga bata’ (the food budget no longer gets spent for the children’s education). Table 7. Observed changes in family nutrition Observed changes in family nutrition


Per cent of Cases

Enough food for the family Family seldom gets sick

64 24

40.5% 15.2%

Able to buy medicines and vitamins Monitor children weight

89 5

56.3% 3.2%

None. Same situation as before Others

15 50

9.5% 31.6%

That over half of the respondents said they are now able to buy medicines and vitamins is consistent with an earlier observation that a majority of respondents spent their cash on medical assistance (buying vitamins and medicines). 5.6. Observed changes in education as a result of the 4Ps A high proportion of households said that, as a result of the 4Ps, they now have adequate funds for school-related fees (e.g., ‘voluntary contributions’ for class projects, scouting fees, graduation fees) and for the purchase of school supplies. A much smaller number said that support provided by the 4Ps resulted in less school absences (Table 8). The findings also suggest that the respondents no longer resorted to borrowing to pay for school-related expenses. To illustrate, at least two respondents admitted that, because of the 4Ps, ‘hindi na ako nangungutang sa 5/6 para sa pangangailangan ng mga bata’ (I no longer have to borrow from the usurer in order to pay for the children’s needs), and ‘dati nangungutang ako tuwing pasukan’ (in the past, I used to borrow money during school enrollment). Table 8. Observed changes in education Observed changes in education Fewer absences in school Adequate funds for school supplies Less problematic with school fees No more child labor; No need to work for family No change. Same situation as last year Others

N 30 109 82 1 12 15

Per cent of Cases 21.4% 77.9% 58.6% .7% 8.6% 10.7%

It would seem that parents are generally sending their children to school, but need help in doing so. This can explain why the cash grant was most useful in buying school supplies and paying for school fees. A smaller percentage only mentioned that the cash grant helped them to lessen absences. For purposes of maximizing the efficiency gains from the cash grant, planners may want to calibrate its provision by providing it to those children who are likely to drop out at a certain academic level. For example, the CCT in Mexico, Progresa, shows that attendance in primary 129  

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school reaches 97% without transfers and that the big drop in enrollment rates is at entry to the secondary level (de Janvrey and Sadoulet, 2004). This means that the cash grant provided at the primary school level represents a leakage and did not result in a significant uptake (in other words, reduced efficiency). As such, it is argued that the provision of transfers should be calibrated, and that priority should go to children with a low probability of going to school without a transfer and with a high probability of going to school if a transfer is offered to them (ibid). This requires knowing 1) what the risks are when a child of a particular type does not go to school without a transfer and 2) how parents of different types respond to conditional cash transfers of different magnitudes in deciding to send their children to school or not (ibid). In a Philippine setting, this may mean calibrating the provision of cash grants so that children who are most likely to drop out at a certain age and academic level are prioritized. This will help to maximize efficiency gains and reduce leakage. 5.7. On changes in family relations, the need to promote gender equality and implications for community organizing and mobilization The record on the effects of 4Ps on various aspects of family relations is mixed. A dramatic improvement in mothers’ attendance of Family Development Sessions (FDS) was recorded from 2007 to 2009, but the reverse is true in the case of fathers. In Sibagat, participation of fathers initially rose sharply from 3.8% to 31.3% but fell significantly to 12.5% in the following year. In Pasay City, the participation rate of fathers in parenting classes remained at a very low level in the three-year period. As for changes in family relations due to the FDS, nearly eighty percent of respondents reported having more knowledge on how to care for their children, while a smaller percentage said that their relationship with their children has improved. It is likely that this is true for the mothers whose participation in the FDS has dramatically increased (Table 9). These changes are both true for the rural and urban areas. Given that it is the women, in general, who attend parenting classes, they are the ones most likely to experience these changes. Table 9. Changes in family relations after mothers’ classes Changes in family relations after mothers’ classes Improved relationship with children More knowledge in taking care of children None. Same situation as before when we were not beneficiary Others

N 44 106 20

Per cent of Cases 33.1% 79.7% 15.0%



Regarding relations with their spouse, an overwhelming majority claimed to have observed no change even after they became members of the 4Ps. A significant percentage, however, did have better spousal relations, particularly in consultations concerning household expenditure (Table 10). Changes in spousal relations were felt more by Sibagat respondents, which is not surprising 130  

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considering that consultation on how the cash grant would be spent occurred more often among couples in the rural area. Table 10. Changes in relations with spouse after 4Ps Changes in relations with spouse after 4Ps Felt we are equal due to important role in 4Ps Better relations; we consult each other on expenditures Family relations worsened; disagree on fund use None. Same situation as before when we were not beneficiary Others Total

N 11

Per cent of Cases 6.51%







5 169

2.96% 100%

Currently, 4Ps parents, most of whom are women, are taught to organize themselves into groups of 25 and to participate in Family Development Sessions (FDS) where trainings on better parenting and other similar types of activities are conducted on a monthly basis. Leaders of each cluster are identified and their main task is to help ensure compliance of their members to the conditionalities. Two observations can be made in this regard. First, since community organizing is already taking place, it would be good to mobilize not just the women but also their male spouses. Promoting male involvement in carrying out domestic responsibilities is an important way for the 4Ps to promote gender equality. Second, building the capacities of these community groups to undertake activities to improve their welfare and promote collective interest, which includes the ability to bargain and make claims on government from a rights-based perspective, is recommended. This will enhance the citizenship status of 4Ps beneficiaries. The experience of the Namibian Basic Income Grant (BIG) Coalition is instructive in this regard. In 2008 the Namibian Basic Income Grant (BIG) Coalition7 launched a universal basic income grant program in the Otjivero-Omitara settlement. The coalition was established when the community proactively formed an 18-member committee to advice and mobilize residents on how they could improve their lives with the help of unconditional cash transfers. This suggests that the introduction of the BIG project served to trigger community mobilization and empowerment (Basic Income Grant Coalition 2008). For example, to ascertain that the income grant would not go to the procurement of alcohol, a committee was formed to address this problem and is working with local shopkeepers not to sell alcohol on the day of the pay out of the grants, an initiative which is touted to be successful. 5.8. On conditionalities : need to ascertain its relevance in a Philippine setting                                                                                                                       7

The Coalition is comprised of four big umbrella bodies, namely, the Council of Churches, the Namibian Union of Namibian Workers, the Namibian NGO Forum, and the Namibian Network of Aids Service Organizations.


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Nearly all respondents said that conditionalities attached to the 4Ps were necessary (96.3%), and cited the following reasons: (a) these were necessary for assistance to education (18.8%); (b) the conditionalities are part of the 4Ps agreement (16.9%); (c) ‘this should be the case’ (15%); (d) ‘it aims to support children’ (8.1%); and (5) ‘to ensure education and health’ (7.5%). Yet, despite the respondents’ expressed agreement with conditionalities, survey results show that these conditionalities did not significantly affect their behavior, as illustrated by the prior discussion on health and education services under the 4Ps. It is possible, therefore, that the beneficiaries favor conditionalities not as a necessity but out of a sense of obligation, with compliance as their ‘counterpart’ in the 4Ps program. This is validated by survey responses such as ‘this should be the case’, or that ‘conditionalities are part of the 4Ps agreement’. It is also significant to note that only 3.8% of total respondents said that conditionalities were necessary in order to ‘avoid abuse, misuse of funds’. This belief was also expressed by 7.5% of respondents in Pasay City, but not in Sibagat. More study is needed to ascertain how necessary conditionalities are as a feature of the 4Ps program. Proponents of the use of conditionalities argue that the latter are important in addressing information asymmetries among the poor. For instance, there may be beneficiaries who are unaware of the availability of health care or of the benefits of immunization. Other proponents cite the political benefits of conditionalities, such as when politicians become motivated to improve health and education services and take actions to do so on the premise that their re-election depends largely on improving the well-being of their constituencies (De Brauw and Hoddinot 2008). Others emphasize how conditionalities strengthen women’s bargaining capacity because program objectives are aligned with women’s own personal interests of ensuring the health and education needs of their children, while others argue that the creation of conditionalities helps overcome the stigma associated with welfare payments (ibid.). Son and Florentino (2008) suggest that conditionalities in the 4Ps play a crucial role in inducing changes in household decisions concerning children’s enrollment. Their comparative study on the levels of school attendance and unconditional cash transfer shows a negative correlation between the level of school attendance and the impact of the cash transfer. The authors argue that a cash transfer program without conditionality is not enough to lead to a substantial increase in school attendance. Meanwhile, there are those who perceive conditionalities as problematic. De Brauw and Hoddinot (2008), for instance, question the assumption that the poor are irrational actors, ‘incapable of understanding their best interests’. This kind of thinking runs counter to the participatory, emancipatory approach to poverty, which sees the poor not as objects but as subjects or active agents, who can speak out and make decisions on their own poverty conditions once they are equipped with adequate information and education (Freire 1970).


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Once again, the Namibian Basic Income Grant (BIG) Coalition’s8 experience can provide some insights. Under the program, all residents 60 years old and below received a basic income grant of N$100 (or PhP554.44)per month without conditionalities. After six months of implementation, the program produced a number of positive results, including a dramatic drop in cases of child malnutrition, with the number of underweight children declining from 42 per cent to 17 per cent, and in school drop-out rates, which decreased from 30-40 per cent to a mere 5 per cent. Additionally, the communities’ incomes increased significantly above the amount of the grants involved because the BIG presented the opportunity for increased economic activities, dispelling the notion that cash transfer induces dependency and laziness (Basic Income Grant Coalition 2008). The Namibia case demonstrates that the use of conditionalities was unnecessary. It also confirms the project’s premise that people, from the outset, want a better quality of life and, if given the chance, will work towards it. Thus, instead of conditionalities, the Namibia case emphasizes the importance of community organization and mobilization in cash transfer programs. Thus, there is indeed a need for further research to ascertain the relevance of conditionalities in a Philippine setting. 5.9. Greatest impact of 4Ps Based on the perceptions of respondents, the greatest impact of the 4Ps are in the areas of improving capacity of families to procure for basic needs in the areas of children’s education and family health. Table 11. Greatest impact of 4Ps (as perceived by respondent-beneficiaries) Greatest Impact of 4Ps Children able to continue schooling No longer borrows money for children’s schooling Able to buy medicines and vitamins Children were vaccinated Improved family health Adequate food for the family Expanded knowledge of parents Improved family relations Have additional/emergency funds for other needs Others Total

N 80 71

Percent (%) 20.94 18.59

81 11 36 51 10 5 34

21.20 2.88 9.42 13.35 2.62 1.31 8.90

3 382

0.79 100

An analysis of rural responses shows that, for Sibagat residents, the greatest impact of the 4Ps is on education and providing adequate food: 78.8% said that the greatest impact was in ‘continued                                                                                                                       8

The Coalition is comprised of four big umbrella bodies, namely, the Council of Churches, the Namibian Union of Namibian Workers, the Namibian NGO Forum, and the Namibian Network of Aids Service Organizations.


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schooling’; 60.78% in having ‘adequate food for the family’; 37.5% mentioned ‘improved family health’; and, 32.5% reported that they no longer borrow money for their children’s schooling. In Pasay City the impact of the 4Ps was felt most in the areas of health and education: 66.3% said that they are now able to buy medicines and vitamins; 56.25% no longer have to borrow money for children’s schooling; 37.5% now have additional/emergency funds to meet other needs; and, 21.3% cent cited continued schooling as having the greatest impact. 5.10. Supply-side issues: increased attendance in schools and health clinics do not automatically translate to improved learning and health outcomes because of the quality of services received The 4Ps is a demand-side intervention which helps to improve household-beneficiaries’ access to food, basic education and health requirements However, supply side issues also need to be addressed, especially since a fundamental prerequisite of CCT programs is that supply services for education and health are in place. This explains why the success of CCT programs in some countries is no guarantee it will work in others (Son, 2008). One of the biggest challenges to the success of the CCT in the Philippines is the quality of these services. The table below shows that more than two thirds of elementary schools in CCT areas have not met seven of the nine quality benchmarks set by DepEd and that half of the cities and municipalities with CCT programs have not met all three benchmarks on health personnel set by the DOH. (see Tables 14 and 15) (CPBRD Policy Brief, 2011) Table 14. Performance of Municipalities/Cities with CCT on meeting Department of Health Standards (as of November 2010) Indicator (benchmark ratio) Doctor population (1:20,000) Midwife population (1:5,000) Nurse population (1:20,000)

No. of municipalities/cities meeting DoH standards 124

to ratio to ratio

to ratio

Percent (%)

No. of municipalities/cities not meeting DoH standards

Percent (%)












(Source: Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, 2011)


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Table 15. Performance of Elementary School vis a vis Department of Education Standards in CCT-covered Areas (as of November 2010) Indicator (benchmark ratio) Pupil to deworming pills ratio (1:2) Pupil to seat ratio (1:1) Pupil to classroom ratio (45:1) Pupil to teacher ratio (45:1) Pupil to science textbook ratio (1:1) Pupil to English textbook ratio (1:1) Pupil to Math textbook ratio (1:1) Pupil to HEKASI textbook ratio (1:1) Pupil to Filipino textbook ratio (1:1)

No. of schools meeting DepEd standards 555

Percent (%) 10.63

No. of schools not meeting DepEd standards 4,665

Percent (%)


































(Source: PCIJ, 2011)

As argued by Son (2008), for as long as these supply-side issues remain, pouring resources into a CCT program may lead to policy incoherence and resource wastage. Furthermore, there is little evidence that shows that demand-side intervention is the more costeffective option to improving education and health outcomes and impact, compared to supplyside intervention (Handa and Davis,2006), especially in the Philippine context. What can be troubling about the ‘over-focus’ on demand-side intervention (as in the case of the 4Ps) is that ‘their success in raising outcomes may make them appear able to solve completely the problem of inequities in human capital, thus diverting resources and/or attention away from essential investments in health and education which may be the only way to sustain the long-term investment in human resources required to reduce poverty (ibid).’ This means that increasing public investments in the provision of universal heath care and education may prove to be more effective in improving health and education outcomes rather than programs like the 4Ps. 5.11. What would lift them out of poverty and the importance of access to stable employment Two out of five respondents (40 per cent) believe that sheer hard work, or ‘sariling sikap’, would lift them out of poverty. Field researchers report that many respondents answered in this manner to express the feeling that ‘wala na silang inaasahan sa gobyerno’ (they no longer expect much from government). A significant number also said that it would be through gainful employment (18.8%) and livelihood (13.1%) that they could get themselves out of poverty.


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Since the above responses all fall within the rubric of livelihood and employment, it could thus be said that an overwhelming majority (71.9%) believe that securing a job or livelihood was the most critical factor that would lift them out of poverty. It is also significant to note that only 1.3% of the respondents believe that continued participation in the 4Ps would get them out of poverty (see Table 12). Table 12. What would lift them out of poverty What would lift them out of poverty


Through hard work, diligence, industry If we are gainfully employed To farm; work on the land Livelihood, Business, Financial Assistance Education Improve budgeting; be frugal Continue with the 4Ps None Others Total


Percent (%) 40.0

30 6 21

18.8 3.8 13.1

8 2 2 4 23 160

5.0 1.3 1.3 2.5 14.5 100.0

This pattern of responses is reflected in the survey results for both rural and urban areas (see Table 13). A significant percentage of the respondents in the two sites (urban, 38.8%; and rural, 41.3%) said that hard work (diligence, industry)9 would lift them out of poverty, while others cited gainful employment and livelihood (urban, 20%; and rural, 17.5%). If all the responses associated with livelihood and employment are added up, this would constitute a big majority for both Agusan del Sur (67.6%) and Pasay City (76.3%). Table 13. What would lift them out of poverty, rural-urban perspective What would lift them out of poverty

Area Rural Urban Total

Through hard work, diligence, industry

Count % within Area

33 31 64 41.3% 38.8% 40.0%

If we are gainfully employed

Count % within Area Count

14 16 30 17.5% 20.0% 18.8% 6 0 6

To farm; work on the land

% within Area Count

7.5% 7


% within Area Count

8.8% 17.5% 13.1% 3 5 8

Improve budgeting; be frugal

% within Area Count

3.8% 2

6.3% 0

5.0% 2

% within Area




Livelihood, Business, Financial Assistance

.0% 14

3.8% 21


According to field researchers, many respondents believe they have only themselves to rely on to get themselves out of poverty, and therefore do not rely on government to do much for them (‘sariling sikap’ or self-reliance).


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Continue with the 4Ps None

Count % within Area Count

2 2.5% 3

0 .0% 1

2 1.3% 4


% within Area Count

3.8% 10

1.3% 13

2.5% 13


% within Area Count

2.6% 16.4% 14.5% 80 80 160

% within Area

100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

This finding is consistent with the observations of the field researchers. In Agusan del Sur many household beneficiaries are engaged in subsistence farming, while others do not have regular livelihood/employment. In Pasay City many of the respondents were pedicab and jeepney drivers, vendors, house/building painters and do not have regular jobs or daily sources of income. Field researchers reported that many respondents expressed gratitude for the 4Ps as it is the first time that they are receiving help from government on a regular basis (‘ngayon lang sa buong buhay nila nakatanggap ng ganitong tulong mula sa gobyerno na medyo regular na maitutulong’). But the respondents also pointed out that the assistance they need most is in finding regular work. The above findings show that it is in the context of lack of regular employment and livelihoods that the 4Ps gain greater significance. As a number of respondents remarked, ‘nakatulong ito lalo na na walang trabaho ang asawa’ (it helped especially when the spouse is out of work), or ‘nagagamit ang pera pag gipit, lalo na pag walang trabaho’ (we use the extra money when we are short of cash, especially when we are out of work). In such instances, the 4Ps provides important relief, but what the respondents really need is access to regular employment or livelihood. 5.12. Complementation and exit programs like SEA-K and Kalahi-CIDDS are not enough and need to be complemented with macro-economic policy to ensure quality job creation The stringent timeframe of many CCT programs, including the 4Ps, needs to take into account the fact that lifting beneficiaries out of poverty on a sustainable basis is a long drawn process that requires a multi-pronged approach, such as the provision of quality employment, social protection systems, stable economic growth, and other improvements in the program environment (Degol and Soares 2008). Simply put, CCT interventions need to be seen as longterm interventions, which assist beneficiaries to become productive members of their community. Mexico’s Oportunidades, which focuses on the long-term goal of human capital accumulation, has a very low percentage of ‘graduates’. Only 0.11 per cent of its beneficiaries have graduated from the program since its inception in 1997. For this reason program planners argue that breaking intergenerational poverty requires continuous support for children throughout their school years (Soares and Britto 2007). Field researchers of this study reported that a big majority of respondents have requested that the cash grants continue beyond five years in order to see their children through college. This


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underscores the need for complementation and exit strategies to ensure that 4Ps beneficiaries graduate, not only from the program, but also from poverty. Again, the experience of Mexico’s Oportunidades is instructive. A study by Yaschine et al (2008) shows that, after three years of program implementation, the deprivation of 98 per cent of households had not been sufficiently reduced to take them above the eligibility threshold. Six years into the program, only 20 per cent of households crossed the eligibility line.10 Of these, 42 per cent eventually returned below the line, while only four per cent were able to cross the eligibility threshold and remain there. The study emphasizes the need to adjust the CCT program’s exit scheme and take into account the long-term nature of poverty reduction. Indeed, broader policy options are required so that beneficiaries do not fall back into poverty after graduation from the program. For example, Chile’s Solidario, which focuses on extremely deprived families through its Puente component, provides intensive psycho-social support for two years, apart from cash transfers. But even after the families graduate from the program, they can still access other cash transfers from a broad network of social protection services such as the Subsidio Unico Familiar 1 (Soares and Britto 2007). The case of Brazil’s Bolsa Familia also provides useful insights. The program rests on the clear premise that poverty, being multidimensional in nature, is not simply the result of low incomes, and that a mere transfer of financial resources to poor families will not be sufficient to combat poverty effectively (Cunha 2009). Thus Bolsa Familia is embedded within a larger social and economic policy scheme composed of ‘complementary actions’ and services to poor families. Among the significant ‘complementary actions’ provided by different actors at the federal, state, and local government levels are employment creation, provision of income-generating activities, and improvement of housing conditions (ibid.). In the Philippines the 4Ps program confronts the similar challenge of ensuring that its graduating program participants are able to rise above poverty and stay there. The overriding reasons for poverty must be addressed in order for the 4Ps to go beyond providing temporary, short-term relief. More concretely, the complementation of other programs and services with the 4Ps, particularly in the area of productive employment creation and livelihood training, including asset reform, is critical if the goal of poverty reduction is to be met on a sustained basis. In recognition of the importance of livelihood generation, the government is complementing the 4Ps with what is called a Convergence Strategy that includes programs like the SelfEmployment Assistance-Kaunlaran (SEA-K) and the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa KahirapanComprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS), among others. The former is a nationwide micro-credit program available to community-based organizations at zero interest rate, while the latter is a cash transfer assistance program with a community mobilization component. In KALAHI-CIDSS’s scheme, local communities identify and design a community project. An overwhelming majority of projects are classified as Basic Social Services sub-projects (e.g., community-water systems, school buildings, daycare centers, barangay health stations) and Basic Access Infrastructure (e.g., access roads/trails, small bridges/foot bridges). Less support goes to Community Production, Economic Support and Common Services Facilities, Environmental Protection and Conservation, and Skills-Training and CapabilityBuilding sub-projects.                                                                                                                       The eligibility line is based on criteria used to identify qualified beneficiaries. 138     10

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To what extent the Convergence Strategy can help provide sustained livelihood options for 4Ps beneficiaries is worth studying in light of certain challenges SEA-K and Kalahi-CIDSS are facing. For example, the financial sustainability of SEA-K is unclear given the low repayment rate of members. Because of its zero interest rate, the revolving fund is eroding due to lack of recovery of administrative, financial and other costs (Manasan, 2009). Furthermore, there are some years when the SEA-K does not receiving funding from the national budget. On the other hand, based on DSWD’s first quarter 2010 Report on Kalahi-CIDSS implementation, the bulk of projects are largely small-scale infrastructure projects that are provided to communities on a one-shot basis although there are a few activities focused on skillsbuilding and training (Recio, 2011). To what extent these kinds of projects can provide sustained employment for 4Ps beneficiaries, needs to be assessed. Furthermore, the highly micro-ized nature of SEA-K and Kalahi-CIDDS projects has resulted in, at best, localized poverty reduction and has not made a dent in reducing over-all poverty as underscored by the results of the 2006 and 2009 Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES). There are, of course, many reasons to explain the rise in poverty incidence since 2006, but a discussion of this is outside the purview of this paper. Nevertheless, no amount of education and training will be enough in securing jobs if government does not adequately address the need to stimulate the demand for labor through macro-economic policy. Indeed the lack of labor demand11 in the country requires, as the UNRISD report (2010) argues, macro-economic policies to stimulate job creation. This means that the function of job creation cannot simply be addressed by programs like SEA-K and Kalahi-CIDDS alone. The translation of higher educational attainment into better pay is not automatic ‘as it is mediated by the quality of the education received, rates of employment, absorption of skilled labor in the economic structure and general rates of return to education’ (Bourguignon et al, 2002; CEPAL, 2002 in Britto, 2005). Finally, as argued by Enriquez (2011), promoting women’s participation in the labor force- in this case, the mothers involved in the program- is not just about providing complete schooling to females or skills-training for the labor market, as these elements do not guarantee female entrance in the labor market. For these actions to have effective results, they must be accompanied by specific measures addressing the issues of discriminatory employment policies, development of policies to help women reconcile their work and home lives, and actions to promote greater involvement of males in housework (ibid). Concluding Remarks A preliminary household survey was conducted to surface possible issues that affect the performance of the 4Ps based on the perception of household-beneficiaries. In summary, the survey shows that the effects of the 4Ps on household beneficiaries after its first year run of operation are mixed. For one, the household-beneficiaries reported improved capacity to procure supplies for food, and basic health and educational needs.                                                                                                                       11

The lack of labor demand is underscored in the 2010 National Statistics Office data that show that the unemployed are relatively educated —33.3 percent are high school graduates, 22.9 percent are college undergraduates, and 19.4 percent are college graduates. 139  

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The survey results, however, also showed that frequency of visits to health centers as well as school attendance largely remained unchanged since many families reported regularly undertaking these activities even prior to the 4Ps. This raises questions about the appropriateness of conditionalities and the need to ascertain its relevance in the Philippine setting. It is also interesting to note that availment rates of many health services fell during the 4Ps. One reason cited is that many of the household beneficiaries were past the stage of vaccination and the need for pre-natal and family planning services. If this is indeed the case, this points to inclusion errors in the targeting system. Other studies also show serious exclusion errors in the 4Ps which is the consequence of a built-in feature of the National Houshold Targeting System. That is, the geographic targeting that occurs immediately excludes the poor in communities that do not comprise the poorest cities and municipalities. But exclusion and inclusion errors notwithstanding, the 4Ps only targets a sub-set of the poor. Other types of poor—the chronically sick, the out-of-school youth, the aging poor, disaster victims, to name a few-- do not enjoy the same benefits. As such, it is important for government to also prioritize the needs of other types of poor not covered by the 4Ps program and this should be reflected in the national budget. The 4Ps is geared towards improving health and education outcomes of the poorest children. However, for as long as the quality of education and health infrastructure and personnel remain low, there is no guarantee that health and education outcomes will improve, as seen in the experience of CCT programs in other countries. This means that simply pouring massive resources to the 4Ps without decisively addressing the issue of quality of services may result in policy incoherence and resource wastage. In terms of cost-effectiveness, there may be a need to explore policy alternatives to improving health and education outcomes such as by addressing supply-side interventions like increasing public investment to ensure universal education and healthcare. This paper suggests further studies in this regard in order to ensure that we make the most use of limited public resources. Improved relations between mothers and children and enhanced capacity to care for the latter was reported as an outcome of the 4Ps; improved spousal relations however did not register. Further involving male spouses in the program so that more equitable sharing of household responsibilities can be explored as this promotes gender equality. Also, facilitating greater access of women (in the 4Ps) to employment is an important feature of women’s economic empowerment, an aspect which needs to be further highlighted. Finally, respondents overwhelmingly reported that what would lift them most out of poverty is access to stable jobs. In this respect, Kalahi-CIDSS and SEA-K serve as both complementary and exit programs as these aim to provide livelihood opportunities to 4Ps beneficiaries. However, closer scrutiny of these programs show that programmatic challenges need to be addressed in order for these to be more effective. To what extent these kinds of projects can provide sustained employment for 4Ps beneficiaries needs to be assessed. Furthermore, as earlier mentioned, the highly micro-ized nature of SEA-K and Kalahi-CIDDS projects has resulted in, at best, localized poverty reduction and has not made a dent in reducing over-all poverty. Employment creation is also largely a function of the need to stimulate the demand for labor through macro-economic policy. Indeed the lack of labor demand12 in the country requires, as                                                                                                                         12

The lack of labor demand is underscored in the 2010 National Statistics Office data that show that the unemployed are relatively educated —33.3 percent are high school graduates, 22.9 percent are college undergraduates, and 19.4 percent are college graduates. 140  

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the UNRISD report (2010) argues, macro-economic policies to stimulate job creation. This means that the function of job creation cannot simply be addressed by programs like SEA-K and Kalahi-CIDDS alone. From a broader view, it is instructive to locate the 4Ps within the official development strategy it is embedded in. According to Britto (2005), ‘if a country’s macro-economic model is one that perpetuates inequality, limits productive investment, restricts employment, and generates poverty, CCT ends up as a mere relief measure with localized impacts.’ This implies that greater attention must be focused on ensuring that the mainstream development strategy is one that is geared towards producing broad-based growth and where economic and social policies are harmonized in order to create the maximum impact for poverty reduction. Post-Script: The Pantawid Pamilya has now benefitted from a five-year program run and the conduct of an impact assessment is indeed timely. In this regard, Social Watch Philippines recommends the following: 1) that the impact assessment should include improvements in health and education outcomes and not just focus on inputs and behavioral changes among participants; 2) the assessment should include the management, administrative and delivery systems of the 4Ps, in light of the 2010 Commission on Audit(COA) Report which underscored several financial and administrative lapses in program implementation, 3) that further expansion of the 4Ps should depend on the results of the evaluation and 4) that an independent entity, rather than government or donor agencies of the 4Ps undertake the evaluation, in order to enhance its credibility. ----Note: The findings arising from the household research came from an earlier Social Watch Philippines’ research (unpublished) supported by the Social Development Staff-National Economic Development Authority (NEDA-SDS) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)-Philippines. That earlier research was part of Component 2 of the Alternative Budget Initiative (ABI) tracking on critical social and economic expenditures of the SWP project on ‘Cooperative Engagement towards Ensuring an MDG-Sensitive Budget for 2011’ as indicated in the Memorandum of Agreement/Terms of Reference between NEDA-SDS and Social Watch Philippines with UNDP funding.


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REFERENCES Asian Development Bank. 2007. Key Indicators 2007: Annual Statistical Publication. Manila: Asian Development Bank. Balisacan, Arsenio. 2008. ‘Poverty reduction: What we know and don’t.’ University of the Philippines (UP) Centennial Lecture. Available at’t_balisacan.pdf Basic Income Grant Coalition-Namibia, 2008. ‘Toward a basic income grant for all.’ Basic Income Grant Pilot Project Assessment Report. Basic Income Grant Coalition-Namibia. 2009. ‘Making the difference’. Basic Income Grant Pilot Project Assessment Report. Behrman, Jere R., Susan W. Parker, and Petra E. Todd. 2011. ‘Do Conditional Cash Transfers for Schooling Generate Lasting Benefits? A Five-Year Followup of PROGRESA/Oportuidades.’ Journal of Human Resources 46 (1): 93-122. Britto, Titiana. 2005. ‘Recent Trends in the Development Agenda of Latin America: An Analysis of Conditional Cash Transfers.’ Available at apers/Britto.pdf Caoli-Rodriguez, Rhona. 2007. ‘The Philippines case study’. Country profile prepared for the Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2008, UNESCO. Available at Chambers, Robert. 1995. ‘Poverty and livelihoods: Whose reality counts?’. Environment and Urbanization 7 (1): 173-204. Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department. 2011. ‘Accountability Mechanisms in the Implementation of Conditional Cash Transfer Programs.’ CPBRD Policy Brief, No. 20118, July 2011. Cunha, Rosani. 2008. ‘Entitlement to income in Brazil: The experience of the Bolsa Familia program’. International Policy Center for Inclusive Growth publication. Available at DSWD 1st Quarter 2010 Report on Kalahi-CIDDS Implementation, 2010.


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The Daily Tribune. 2009. ‘Editorial: Gloria orders doleouts hiked to P12B until 2010.’ 6 September 2009. Das, Jishnu, Quy-Toan Do, and Ben Ozler. 2005. “Reassessing Conditional Cash Programs,” The World Bank Research Observer 20(1): 57-80. De Brauw, Alan and John Hoddinott. 2008. ‘Is the conditionality necessary in conditional cash transfer programs: Evidence from Mexico’. International Poverty Centre Paper, No. 64, International Poverty Center, Brazil. De Britto, Tatiana Feitosa. 2004. ‘Conditional cash transfers: Why have they become so prominent in recent poverty reduction strategies in Latin America’. ISS Working Paper Series No. 390, Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, Netherlands. Degol Hailu and Fabios Veras Soares. 2008. ‘Cash transfers lessons in Africa and Latin America.’ Poverty in Focus No. 15, International Poverty Center, Brazil. De Janvry, Alain and Elisabeth Sadouley. 2004. Conditional Cash Transfers: Are They Really Magic Bullets? ARE Update 7(6), July/August 2004. Department of Social Welfare and Development. 2009. Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program Budget Allocation (2009). Department of Social Welfare and Development. 2009. Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, a powerpoint presentation. Department of Social Welfare and Development. 2009. Comparison of FY 2008 GAA VS FY 2009 GAA (in thousand pesos). Enriquez, Corinna Rodriguez. 2011. ‘Conditional Cash Transfer Programs and Gender Equity: Are They an Advance or a Setback for Latin American Women?’. Paper presented at the IAFFE Annual Conference, Zhejiang Gongshang University, Hangzhou, China, June 2011. Ferraz, Claudio and Simeon Nichter. 2009. ‘Political cash transfers? Redistribution, elections, and Bolsa Familia in Brazil’. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, 67th Annual National Conference. Freire, Paolo. 1970. Pedagogy of the oppressed, 2nd edition. London: Penguin Books. Haarman, Claudia, Haarman, Dirk, Jauch, Hervert, Shindo la-Mote, Hilma, Nattrass, Nicole, Samson, Michael and Guy Standing (2008). Basic Income Grant Pilot Project Assessment Report. A research designed and carried out by the Desk for Social Development (DfSD) and


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the labour Resource and Research Institute (LaRRI) on behalf of the Basic Income Grant (BIG) Coalition. Handa, Sudhanshu and Benjamin Davis. 2006. ‘The Experience of Conditional Cash Transfers in Latin America and the Caribbean.’ Development Policy Review 24(5):513-536. Hailu, Degol and Soares, Fabios Veras. 2008. ‘Cash transfers lessons in Africa and Latin America.’ Poverty in Focus No. 15, International Poverty Center, Brazil. Hall, Anthony. 2008. ‘Brazil’s Bolsa Familia: A Doubled Edged Sword?’ Development and Change 39 (5): 799-822. Laderchi,C.R., R. Saith and F. Stewart. 2003. ’Does it Matter that We Do Not Agree on the Definition of Poverty? A Comparison of Four Approaches.’ Oxford Development Studies 31(3):243-274. Llanto, Gilbert. 2008. ‘Make “deliberate” haste in rolling out the 4Ps’. PIDS Policy Notes No. 2008-09, Philippine Institute for Development Studies. Lund, Frances, Michael Noble, Helen Barnes, and Gemma Wright, 2009. ’Is There a Rational for Conditional Cash Transfers for Children in South Africa?’ Transformation 70: 70-91. Manasan, Rosario. 2008. ‘Policy study on the national and local government expenditures for Millennium Development Goals, 2000-2005.’ PIDS Discussion Paper Series No. 2008-17, Philippine Institute of Development Studies. Manasan, Rosario. 2009. ‘Reforming Social Protection Policy: Responding to Global Crisis and Beyond.’ PIDS Discussion Paper Series No. 2009-23, Philippine Institute of Development Studies. National Statistics Office (NSO). 2010. Employment Rate was 93% in October 2010. Results from the October 2010 Labor Force Survey. Available at Pablo, Luwalhati F., Margarita V. Sampang, and Ernestina Z. Solloso. 2009. ‘Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps): Conditional cash transfer program improving human capital investment of the poor’. Social Welfare and Development Journal 3(1): 2-10. Raquiza, Maria Victoria R. 2008. ‘Democratizing poverty discourse: The case of the SWS selfrated surveys on poverty and hunger’. M.A. thesis, Institute of Social Studies (ISS), The Hague.


Alternative Budget  Fiscal  Year  2013  

Rawlings, Laura and Gloria Rubio. 2005. ‘Evaluating the Impact of Conditional Cash Transfer Programs.’ The World Bank Research Observer 20(1): 29-55. Recio, Redento. 2011. ‘Beyond Narratives and Numbers: A Closer Look into Kalahi-CIDDS Program A Case Study on a Kalahi-CIDDS Project’. ODA WATCH Romero, Purple S. 2008. ‘Government needs P25 billion from World Bank to sustain antipoverty programs’., 5 December. Soares, Fabios Vera and Tatiana Britto. 2007. ‘Growing pains: Key challenges for conditional cash transfer programs in Latin America’. International Poverty Center, Brazil. Social Watch Philippines-Alternative Budget Initiatives (2011). ‘Paggugol na Matuwid: Kasama ang Tao CSO Engagement on the 2012 Budget Preparation and Sources of Financing’ Social Watch Philippines, Quezon City. Son, Hyun H., 2008. ‘Conditional Cash Transfer Programs: An Effective Tool for Poverty Alleviation?’ ERD Policy Brief 51. Asian Development Bank, Mandaluyong City. Son, Hyun H. and Jhiedon Florentino. 2008. ‘Ex ante impact evaluation of conditional cash transfer program on school attendance and poverty: The case of the Philippines’. ADB Economic Working Paper Series No. 142, Asian Development Bank, Mandaluyong City. Thin Lei Win. 2008. ‘Child malnutrition in Asia tops sub-Saharan Africa – UNICEF’. AlertNet, 7 August. Available at United Nations. 2005. United Nations Report on World Social Situation: The Inequality Predicament. Available at United Nations Development Program India. 2009.’Conditional Cash Transfer Schemes for Alleviating Human Poverty: Relevance for India’ UNDP. United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD). 2010. Combating Poverty and Inequality Structural Change, Social Policy and Politics. UNRISD publication, Geneva. Yaschine, Illiana and Laura Davila. 2008. ‘Why, when, and how should beneficiaries leave a CCT program’. Poverty in Focus No. 15, International Poverty Center, Brazil.


Alternative Budget  Fiscal  Year  2013  

LIST OF INTERVIEWEES Arulpragasam, Jehan, World Bank Philippines human development sector coordinator. Interview. 16 June 2009. Fajardo, Desiree D., DSWD finance director. Interview. 23 July 2009. Oliveros, Dra. Yolanda E., director of the National Center for Disease Prevention and Control, Department of Health. Interview. 8 October 2009. Pablo, Luwalhati F., DSWD undersecretary. Interview. 25 June 2009. Padua, Ma. Loreto ‘Malu’ N., World Bank Philippines social development specialist. Interview. 13 July 2009. Santos, Thelma, Department of Health assistant secretary. Interview. 16 October 2009. Solloso, Ernestina, DSWD deputy project manager of the 4Ps. Interview. 22 October 2009.


Conditional Cash Transfer in the Philippines  

Enhancing Poverty and Building Human Development: A Preliminary Study of the Challenges Confronting Pantawid Pamilya Program by Marivic Raq...

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