November 28, 2019
Ms. Mara Warwick, World Bank Country Director; Secretary Rolando Bautista of the Department of Social Welfare and Development; Undersecretary Aimee Torrefranca-Neri, Department of Social Welfare and Development, good morning.
I thank the World Bank for facilitating additional financing for the Second Social Welfare Development and Reform Program. The Bank has been a strong and reliable partner in the implementation of our conditional cash transfer initiative called the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps.
This World Bank budget support operation commenced in 2010 and was dedicated to strengthening the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s performance as a social protection agency. The design of the program includes setting up a database for the national household targeting system, which has already gone a long way towards providing public services and support to those who really need it. As the Listahanan database is able to increasingly communicate with our National ID system, the targeting, efficiency, and effectiveness of our social protection programs and public services will dramatically improve.
To further strengthen the 4Ps program until 2022, the World Bank has committed additional financing support of 300 million US dollars. With this infusion, the total amount now contributed by the World Bank in support of our conditional cash transfer program has reached 1.26 billion US dollars.
The additional financing will continue to support the delivery of conditional cash transfers to millions of beneficiaries. It will also further improve the project’s implementation performance; monitoring and evaluation procedures; and upgrade key dimensions of the 4Ps’ program management.
More importantly, the additional support will help boost early childhood development and fight malnutrition among 8.7 million children from the 4.2 million families currently benefitting from the 4Ps program.
The Duterte administration recognizes the effectiveness of the 4Ps in reducing poverty. On April 17 of this year, the government passed a law institutionalizing the 4Ps program to ensure that it will continue into the future.
The entire economic program of President Duterte has the ultimate goal of bringing down our poverty incidence from 27.6 percent in the first half of 2015 to just 14 percent by the end of the President’s term in 2022, expanding economic inclusion, and making real the dream of a comfortable life for every Filipino. We will tirelessly work towards the full realization of this goal.
The conditional cash transfer program is an indispensable component of the more comprehensive effort to combat cross-generational poverty. It is ultimately an investment in the next generation of Filipinos, who need to be ready to reap the benefits of our fast-approaching demographic dividend.
Thank you very much.