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COVID-19 and Social Assistance in the Philippines: Lessons for Future Resilience

  • Yoonyoung Cho and Doug Johnson

This note describes the phases of the COVID-19 SP response in the Philippines and assesses the performance with a focus on social assistance. It provides estimates of the coverage, adequacy, targeting accuracy, timeliness, and payment delivery of COVID-19 social assistance in the Philippines based on several household surveys and studies. The note pays special attention to the Philippines’ flagship social protection program, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), and the...

From Digital G2P Payments to Greater Financial Inclusion—Latest Findings from the Philippines

  • Karisha Anne Cruz, Maria Isabel Fernandez, Kate Glynn-Broderick, Yuna Liang, Rebecca Rouse, Nassreena Sampaco-Baddiri

This blog post from IPA summarizes the findings from a survey of SAP 2 transfer beneficiaries in the Philippines. Due to a number of issues under SAP 1, including overcrowding, SAP 2 benefits were distributed digitally through accounts rather than in cash. The survey found that the average recipient was satisfied, despite waiting for about an hour and being charged roughly $1 to cash out. Only 16%, however, were aware...

Toward More Accessible and Inclusive Social Assistance Delivery: A Geospatial Analysis in the Philippines

  • Yasuhiro Kawasoe

The Philippines’ experience in implementing the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) in response to the COVID -19 pandemic highlights the pressing need for financial inclusion, especially among the poor. Not only ownership of bank or mobile money accounts but also accessibility to financial services is essential for financial inclusion. This study assesses the challenges and opportunities in financial inclusion, especially among the poor in remote communities. It finds, among other things,...

Protecting the Poor and Vulnerable against the Pandemic

  • Camilo Gudmalin, Lizan Perante-Calina, Joven Balbosa, Joel Mangahas, Maria Aloha Samoza

This report from the Asian Development Bank details the Philippines’ social protection response to COVID-19. It explores the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s efforts to distribute payments, the challenges it encountered, and the role of digital technologies in overcoming them.

Case Study: Striving for E-Payments at Scale in the Philippines

  • Bankable Frontier Associates

The Philippines’ Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) is a conditional cash transfer program that aims to provide short-term poverty alleviation for poor households. As the program grew quickly and in volume and geography, so did the challenges faced in getting payments quickly and efficiently to recipients. This case study examines the design and implementation of the 4Ps program, explains the experiences of stakeholders and presents lessons learned.

Monitoring Digital Financial Payments of Cash Transfers in the Philippines

  • Cesi Cruz, Yoonyoung Cho, Julien Labonne, Rebecca Rouse, Kate Glynn-Broderick

Digital payments offer a fast and transparent way to distribute cash aid to households that have been economically hard hit by the pandemic. In the Philippines, researchers conducted a survey to learn about the experience of recipients of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP), an emergency cash transfer program implemented by the government. Results revealed that recipients were highly satisfied with their withdrawal experience of digital cash transfers, however, account awareness...


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