Pantawid Pamilya contributes to poverty reduction

Published by rudy Date posted on September 2, 2015

From the Department of Social Welfare and Development

Based on the 2014 World-Bank Benefit-Incidence analysis, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program has been able to move beneficiaries closer to the minimum income level needed to transcend poverty. The program is also successful in encouraging school attendance, promoting preventive health check-ups and improving maternal health.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reiterates that the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, the country’s Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program, contributes to poverty reduction and that complementary programs should be developed for the holistic response to the problem.

During the DSWD budget deliberation yesterday at the House of Representatives, various sectors and some lawmakers continued to question the impact of Pantawid Pamilya on poverty.

“As we have continuously pointed out, the Pantawid Pamilya is not the magic pill that will solve poverty and hunger in this country,” DSWD Secretary Soliman said as she presented the Department’s budget for 2016. “It is an investment in human capital, and its main goal is to keep kids healthy and in school, therefore ensuring that they break the intergenerational cycle of poverty and have a better future.”

But even if Pantawid Pamilya is a program that only contributes to poverty reduction, Sec. Soliman shared that various studies have shown initial positive effects of the program on the problem.

According to Sec. Soliman, the preliminary findings of the 2014 World Bank Benefit-Incidence Analysis showed that Pantawid Pamilya is achieving its objectives.

“The study showed that Pantawid Pamilya has been able to increase the income of partner-beneficiaries, and to move them closer to the minimum income level needed to transcend poverty. The report also said that per peso cash grant, the poverty gap is reduced by 61 centavos,” Sec. Soliman added.

Sec. Soliman reiterated that according to the report, to effectively help the poor close the poverty gap, investments should continue to be made in other complementary programs that build human capital and generate jobs.

Likewise, based on the 2nd round of the impact evaluation on Pantawid Pamilya conducted in 2014, the program is successful in encouraging school attendance, promoting preventive health check-ups, and improving maternal health which are all important factors to break the inter-generation cycle of poverty.

Specifically, the major findings of the impact evaluation are:

More Pantawid Pamilya mothers delivered in health facilities in the past five years, with 7 in 10 live births among Pantawid Pamilya mothers compared to 5.5 in 10 births among non-beneficiary mothers. Furthermore, children beneficiaries have access to basic health services such as vitamin and mineral supplements that are vital to improving health outcomes. Pantawid Pamilya children aged 6 months to 6 years old receive Vitamin A supplements (86%) and iron supplements (35%).

Gross enrollment rate for high school children (12-15 years old) is higher (95%) for Pantawid Pamilya children living near the poverty threshold. Keeping high school-aged children in school is important as this is the stage when they are likely to drop out of school to work.

Pantawid Pamilya households also invest more on education. Results show that Pantawid Pamilya households spent PhP206 more per school-aged child per year compared to non-beneficiary households. Expenditures for uniform or clothing are higher for Pantawid Pamilya children as well.

Pantawid Pamilya seems to have improved parents’ perception of their situation and of their children’s future. It encourages Pantawid Pamilya parents (87% compared to 81% for non-Pantawid Pamilya parents) to aspire for a better future for their children and expect the kids to live a better life compared to theirs. This indicates that the beneficiaries understand that the program will help their family’s future welfare. The healthier outlook of the future may also prompt beneficiaries to take necessary behavioral changes to achieve their aspirations.

Since poverty is multidimensional, Sec. Soliman emphasized that Pantawid Pamilya is not the sole solution to the problem of poverty in the Philippines. Instead, the Department called for the converged effort of the government and of the different sectors of society to completely eradicate poverty.

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