Gov’t gets P22.5 billion loan from ADB for 4Ps

The Philippine government acquired a $450 million (about P22.5 billion) loan from Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), which would provide continuous cash aids for needy families in the county.

The Department of Finance (DOF) announced Wednesday that Finance Secretary III and ADB director for the Philippines Kelly Bird sealed a loan agreement for the $500-million expanded social assistance project (Esap) on Monday.

“We thank the ADB for again extending its support to our sustained efforts to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 on our economy and our people. This -support loan will not only help bridge our funding gap for our COVID-19 response but will also strengthen our social protection program as we restart our economy and help people get back on their feet amid the pandemic,” Dominguez said.

“This -support loan under the Esap is part of the Philippine government’s external financing program for 2020, with $450 million of the fund proposed for accelerated disbursement by next month,” the DOF said.

“The Esap loan, which covers a maturity period of 29 years inclusive of an eight-year grace period, brings to $2.6 billion the total financing package extended by the ADB so far to the Philippines for its programs to address the COVID-19 crisis,” the DOF added.

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ADB gives $3.1-million technical assistance loan

Aside from the Esap loan, ADB earlier said it would give the government a $3.1-million technical assistance funds that would be used for family and youth development sessions, livelihood programs, IT reforms, and the integration of the 4Ps database with the government’s national ID system.

“The Philippine government is boosting social investment in Filipinos to break the decades-old intergenerational cycle of poverty. The 4Ps provides vulnerable households with an income supplement to help their children become educated, stay healthy and leave poverty for good. Our evidence shows that this is working. The 4Ps has helped 1.5 million people escape poverty since it began in 2008. Through this project loan and technical-assistance support, the ADB is helping the Philippines expand these gains,” ADB vice president Ahmed Saeed said in a separate statement on June 11.

“Independent impact evaluations and ADB analyses have confirmed the 4Ps’ significant benefits to households. For example, the average enrollment rate for children aged 16 to 17 years old in 4Ps households is 88 percent, significantly higher than the average rate of 70 percent for children in non-4Ps households. The cash grants do not discourage 4Ps parents from looking for and retaining employment. In fact, employment outcomes in 4Ps families are the same as non-4Ps families. In addition, the incidence of hunger is lower for 4Ps households,” the ADB said.

To date, the Philippines already received over $1.5 billion cumulative financial assistance from ADB allotted for 4Ps.