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Social Protection Brief: The Social Protection Support Project in the Philippines

Publication | July 2015
Social Protection Brief: The Social Protection Support Project in the Philippines

The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program has become a cornerstone of social protection reforms in the Philippines, helping poor families keep their children healthier and in school through a conditional cash transfer program.

Despite accelerating economic growth in the mid-2000s, poverty incidence in the Philippines remained stubbornly high and even increased during some periods. One of the key causes of poverty was chronic underinvestment in human capital, especially health and education. To respond to these challenges, the government set out to strengthen its social protection system with a reform agenda championed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (Bridging Program for the Filipino Family) provides cash grants to poor households based on their fulfillment of health and education related conditions. Of the 63 countries that have a CCT program, Pantawid is among the largest.

Key Points

  • The Pantawid Pamilya conditional cash transfer program reached more than 4.4 million poor families in 2014.
  • Rigorous impact evaluation in 2012 and 2014 confirms that Pantawid Pamilya improves access to health services, keeps children in school, reduces child labor, and does not encourage dependency.
  • The Listahanan poverty targeting system is among the best in the world and ensures that benefits reach the poorest. 
  • ADB’s Social Protection Support Project supports grants to nearly 640,000 poor households in selected areas.
  • Policy and operational challenges include adjusting the benefit levels to account for inflation, and ensuring sufficient and high quality education and health services.