Santiago to file bill providing cash transfers to poor families
() - July 13, 2009 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, chairperson of the Senate Economic Affairs Committee, will file a bill providing conditional cash transfers (CCTs) to extremely poor families.

Dubbed Lingap Sikap Act of 2009, the bill aims to offer grants to impoverished households on condition of committing to send their children to school regularly and bring them to health care centers for vaccination and check-ups, among others.

“Investing in our children will break the cycle of intergenerational transmission of poverty. As current poverty is addressed by the CCTs, future poverty will be reduced by ensuring the education and health of Filipino children,” Santiago said.

The CCT program from Brazil called Bolsa Familia, the program from which Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) also based its current pro-poor Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), inspires her bill.

Social Welfare Secretary Esperanza Cabral, who was part of the Philippine delegation to Brazil, said the government was keen on expanding the 4Ps program in the country after their visit to the Latin American country.

“The passage of this bill will make the cash transfer program of the DSWD more permanent and long term,” she said.

Santiago said the program would also strengthen and facilitate improvements in the government’s social welfare institutions, programs, and services.

The Bolsa Familia program in Brazil is considered the pioneer CCT program in Latin America. Its success triggered its adoption in several countries such as Chile, Mexico, Indonesia, South Africa, Turkey, and Morocco.

Aside from reducing poverty, the program created positive impact on the adult labor supply, reduced the malnutrition rate, and increased total spending, food consumption, and education spending. – Christina Mendez

BOLSA FAMILIA CHRISTINA MENDEZ DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT DUBBED LINGAP SIKAP ACT LATIN AMERICA LATIN AMERICAN MIRIAM DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO PANTAWID PAMILYANG PILIPINO PROGRAM PROGRAM SENATE ECONOMIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEE SOCIAL WELFARE SECRETARY ESPERANZA CABRAL
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