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Chapter 2

Review of Related Literature

The review of the literature for this study focuses on nature of the Conditional Cash

Transfer Program (4Ps) and the rationale behind its implementation. This chapter begins with

the definition of the program as defined by other researchers in various fields using different

instruments to identify its significance to the governments goal in alleviating poverty in the

country. Consequently, this chapter presents the following:

a) the advantages and disadvantages of the program;

b) different concepts of conditional cash transfer program as being implemented in other

foreign countries; and

c) different issues and challenges revolving around the paradigm of 4Ps.

The information drew out from the review of related literature germane to uncovering the

implications of the program to the political landscape of the Philippines, particularly in the local

politics of Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental.

Conditional Cash Transfer (4Ps) in the Philippines

According to (Mella, Osido, & Suing, 2011), a conditional cash transfer program is a

program implemented by the government where money (cash grants) is given to eligible

beneficiaries given that these beneficiaries comply with certain conditions such as nutrition,

education, family development sessions, and other such services offered by the government. It is

a means of helping the beneficiaries through provision of social and medical assistance and

increasing the investment in human capital for society by providing education to those who

cannot afford it. The Department of Social Welfare and Development even claimed that since

2007, the PantawidPamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the Philippines is the conditional cash

transfer program implemented by them, along with cooperative partner institutions such as the

Department of Education, Department of Health, Department of the Interior and Local

Government, and various other government institutions.

Consequently, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program was patterned after the

conditional cash transfer programs in Latin American and African countries which have been

proven successful as a poverty reduction and social development measure.(DSWD, 2011) The

4Ps is targeted at chronic poor households with children aged 0-14 years old who are located in

poor areas receiveing cash grants range from PhP500 to PhP1, 400 per household per month,

depending on the number of eligible children. In exchange for the financial resources that the

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino program provide to families are the families fulfillment of certain

tasks such as ensuring that its childrens attendance in school, regular visits to community health

centers, participation in government-sponsored feeding programs and attendance in more

specific trainings, to name a few (Somera, 2010). According to Fernandez and Olfindo (2012)

the program is seen more broadly as a vehicle for enhancing coordination within the

government in assisting the poor and for increasing the effectiveness of social protection


According to Department of Social Welfare and Developments (DSWD) , the mechanics

of the 4Ps/CCT program are straightforward. It will give cash grants to beneficiary households

complying with the following conditions:

a) pregnant women avail pre- and post-natal care and have a trained health professional

at childbirth;

b) children 0-5 years old receive regular health check-ups and vaccinations; children 6-

14 years old take de-worming pills twice a year;

c) children 0-14 years old attend day care, pre-school, elementary or high school (as

appropriate) at least 85% of the time; and

d) parents attend family development sessions.

Upon complying with the health conditions the beneficiary household will receive

PhP500 (or PhP6, 000 per year) and PhP300 per child per month, up to a maximum three

children, for the education conditions (or PhP3, 000 per child for the 10-month school year).

Likewise, a household with three qualified children can potentially receive PhP1, 400 per month

during the school year or as much as PhP15, 000 annually - cash grants can be received for at

most five years, most likely through a Land Bank ATM/cash card given to the mother. CCTs

were piloted in a few thousand households in the last half of 2007. Formal program

implementation started in 2008 and was targeted to reach one million beneficiaries by 2010.

Based on the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, the main rationale behind

the idea of Conditional Cash Transfer Program is to eradicate extreme hunger and poverty in

countries implementing this program.

Poverty is about a lack of power. Poverty alleviation should thus also address situations

in which some people have few opportunities to exercise their rights. Rather than

thinking of the poor as needy persons awaiting hand-outs, recognize their basic rights to

common resources (Rosenberg, 2007).

As a way of fulfilling its commitment to achieve the MDGs, the Philippines created its

own version of the program and named it as PantawidPamilyang Pilipino Program, a flagship

agendum by the current administration in addressing the call for alleviating poverty in the


The Philippines has been battling against poverty for over several years now. The

problem with poverty was inherited by every president, the highest ranking official of the

republic. Because poverty continues to worsen every now and then, the leaders of the

country have their own strategies and policy adaptations to combat this serious issue

(Fabros, 2012)

Secretary General of the National Statistical Coordination Board, said in his presentation

of the 2009 Official Poverty Statistics that a Filipino needed PhP 974 in 2009 to meet his or her

monthly food needs and PhP 1,403 to stay out of poverty. In 2009, a family of five needed PhP

4, 869 monthly incomes to meet food needs and PhP 7, 017 to stay out of poverty. Results of the

latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey also revealed that one in every five Filipino

households, or an estimated 4.3 million families, experienced involuntary hunger in the third

quarter of the year 2011(Virola, 2011). As what (Calvo, 2011) explained, The Conditional Cash

Transfer (CCT) programs serve as the governments answers to the pressing issues regarding

poverty (Mella, Osido, & Suing, 2011). CCT are programs that provide cash benefits to finance

the basic needs and foster investment in human capital to extremely poor households. These

benefits are conditioned on certain behaviors, usually related to investments in nutrition, health,

and education.

The Advantages of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program

The CCT program is believed to be the answer in the call of addressing both future

poverty, by fostering human capital accumulation among the young as a means of breaking the

intergenerational transmission of poverty and current poverty, by providing income support for

consumption in the short run (Rawlings & Rubio, 2005). Indeed, the main objective of the 4Ps

and other CCT programs is to prevent inter-generational transference of poverty and help break

the infinite cycle of poverty by providing the children the suitable educational and health

assistance so as to help them develop the facilities for a better future. Investing in childrens

human capital and ensuring that they grow into educated and healthy adults, is the equivalent of

teaching them how to fish. Healthy, educated children ultimately have more choices in life and

are able to become productive members of society (Bloom, 2008).

Furthermore, the implementation of the 4Ps lessens the incidence of child labor and other forms

of child abuse. There are two interrelated mechanisms found to help combat child labor

according to other countries. First, through their cash subsidy component, schoolings directs

costs are reduced, thereby inducing families to send their children to school, as opposed to work.

Second, these programs require families to have their children attend school, 85% of the school

days per month in the case of the 4Ps, in exchange to cash subsidy. Indeed, this requirement

increases the time children spend in school and reduces the time they can allocate to work (Gee,

2010). According to (DSWD, 2009) , there is a noticeable increase in the number of enrollees in

many elementary schools in areas included in the scope of the 4Ps, and kindergarten classes were

being established to answer the need of the community in compliance to the condition of sending

0-5 years old children in day care centers and preschools.

In the long run, the 4Ps as well as the other CCT programs will establish social equality

and mobility through education (Mella, Osido, & Suing, 2011). As mentioned by (Gundlach,

Pablo, & Weiser, 2010), the centrality of education in poverty-reduction policies stems from the

belief that education is a powerful equalizer and the main asset of most people. The 4Ps also

promotes gender empowerment seeing as the responsibility of managing the cash grants are

given to the mother. This decision is based on the experience in CCT programs showing that

women make relatively better use of grant money by using it to purchase food and/or other

necessities such as medicines, transportations and school supplies. In the nutshell, the underlying

concept of the CCT programs, and of the 4Ps as wells, is: once individuals are healthy, better

fed, and educated, they will be able to overcome poverty in the long run (Valencia, 2009).

The Disadvantages of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program

In the realistic view of (Coady & Parker, 2002), like any other government program, the

4Ps also have its disadvantages that may encumber its helpful benefits. One of the most crucial

characteristic of the 4Ps and other CCT programs implemented in other countries is its being a

demand-side intervention instead of being a supply-side intervention. That is, in order to be

considered as a beneficiary of the program, one must concede with the governments demands

and conditions. Furthermore, as previously mentioned, poverty in the country is not only caused

by the lack of economical resources, but also because of socio-economic and political factors

that prevent the equality and distribution of resources. Although the 4Ps aims to provide the poor

with the education which is, otherwise, inaccessible, it does not directly answer the socio-

economic and political problems that are the primary cause of poverty. In the case of the 4Ps in

the Philippines, it does not answer the issues regarding the political and economic elite families.

And poverty can only be totally alleviated if there are programs that could target its

roots(Mella, Osido, & Suing, 2011). According to (Cuesta, 2007), the 4Ps will also encounter

some difficulties in achieving support from the other social classes, mainly because it does not

benefit middle-income groups which have also been steadily affected by limited universal

services and decreases in employment.

Another major disadvantage of the 4Ps implementation is that it requires a huge amount

of finance which we do not have at the present. The 4Ps is a loan driven program, much

of the funds constituting the conditional cash grants given to beneficiaries are generated

from loans abroad, particularly from the United States. By the tail-end of August 2010,

the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a US$400 million loan specifically for the

4Ps which will run from 2011 to 2014. This comprises 45.2 per cent of the total cost of

US$884.2 million, where US$484 million serves as the governments counterpart.

Having ADBs US$400 million in addition to the World Banks US$405 million, makes

two-thirds of the whole 4Ps from 2009 to 2014 comprised of loans (Somera, 2010).

The Aquino administrations conditional cash transfers (CCTs), which take up the

largest part of its PantawidPamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), have many points of

appeal. Giving cash to poor families appeal to those inclined to charity. Those concerned

about social welfare appreciate the focus on maternal and child health and on basic

education. Technocrats in turn are comfortable talking about human capital, household

targeting systems, social resiliency, social protection and measurable deliverables.

Yet while CCTs at first glance seem unobjectionable, looking at them from a progressive

social development perspective and in the concrete conditions of the Philippines raises

some serious concerns. They may well provide welcome relief to beneficiary families but

if the economy still does not get the radical reforms it so badly needs then the root causes

of poverty will remain and Filipinos will remain as poor as ever (IBON, 2010).

CCT Programs in Other Countries

4Ps is patterned from different concepts of Conditional Cash Transfer Programs from

other countries. The mechanism of how the program is being implemented vary and so as the

feedbacks and assessments of their respective beneficiaries. Based on the studies of (Rawlings &

Rubio, 2005), several developing economies have recently introduced conditional cash transfer

programs, which provide money to poor families contingent on certain behavior, usually

investments in human capital, such as sending children to school or bringing them to health

centers. The approach is both an alternative to more traditional social assistance programs and a

demand-side complement to the supply of health and education services. Unlike most

development initiatives, conditional cash transfer programs have been subject to rigorous

evaluations of their effectiveness using experimental or quasi-experimental methods. Evaluation

results for programs launched in Colombia, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Turkey

reveal successes in addressing many of the failures in delivering social assistance, such as weak

poverty targeting, disincentive effects, and limited welfare impacts. There is clear evidence of

success from the first generation of programs in Colombia, Mexico, and Nicaragua in increasing

enrollment rates, improving preventive health care, and raising household consumption. Many

questions remain unanswered, however, including the potential of conditional cash transfer

programs to function well under different conditions, to address a broader range of challenges

among poor and vulnerable populations, and to prevent the intergenerational transmission of


In recent years there has been growing attention concerning the use of cash and

conditional cash transfer programs as part of broader poverty reduction strategies. Since

the late 1990s Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programs have spread rapidly. While

"first generation" CCT programs originated in Brazil and Mexico, CCT programs now

are found across a wide range of countries and contexts.Increasing educational attainment

around the world is one of the key aims of the Millennium Development Goals. Cash

transfer programs, both conditional and unconditional, are a popular social protection tool

in developing countries that aim, among other things, to improve education outcomes in

developing countries. The debate over whether these programs should include conditions

has been at the forefront of recent global policy discussions. This systematic review aims

to complement the existing evidence on the effectiveness of these programs in improving

schooling outcomes and help inform the debate surrounding the design of cash transfer

programs (Baird, G, Ferreira, & Woolcock, 2013).

In this regard, (Fernald, Gertler, & Neufeld, 2008) stated that - many governments have

implemented conditional cash transfer (CCT) programmes with the goal of improving options for

poor families through interventions in health, nutrition, and education. Families enrolled in CCT

programmes receive cash in exchange for complying with certain conditions:

a) preventive health requirements and nutrition supplementation;

b) education and monitoring designed to improve health outcomes; and

c) promote positive behaviour change.

Their aim was to disaggregate the effects of cash transfer from those of other programme

components. In an intervention that began in 1998 in Mexico, low-income communities (n=506)

were randomly assigned to be enrolled in a CCT programme (Oportunidades, formerly Progresa)

immediately or 18 months later. In 2003, children (n=2449) aged 2468 months who had been

enrolled in the programme their entire lives were assessed for a wide variety of outcomes. Our

results suggest that the cash transfer component of Oportunidades is associated with better

outcomes in child health, growth, and development

The Education Sector Support Project, which started in 2005, assists the government

with its goal of expanding access to educational services by addressing constraints in

supply, demand, quality and efficiency, and it has a special focus on poor and under-

served communities. The project is expanding educational facilities in poor areas,

delivering scholarship programs to poor children, providing training and capacity

building at local levels to improve education services, and addressing specific

implementation issues.

The Kenya Cash Transfer Program for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (CT-OVC) is the

government's flagship social protection programme, reaching over 130,000 households and

260,000 orphans and vulnerable children across the country as of late 2011. Their objective is to

investigate whether the CT-OVC has changed the preferences of households in terms of their

consumption behaviour. Comparison in the standard difference-in-differences programme effects

with ex-ante expected effects given baseline expenditure elasticities. As a result of the

programme, participating households had significantly higher expenditures than control

households on food, health, and clothing and significantly less spending on alcohol and tobacco.

Programme impacts were also seen on spending in four of seven food groups. To test whether

the programme simply moves households along their total expenditure Engel curve or in fact

shifts that curve, we compare ex-ante expected behaviours with the ex-post actual response of

households to the programme. In fact, about one-half of the consumption categories ex-ante

predicted and ex-post actual effects are significantly different, implying that preferences may

have changed among programme recipients. Afterwards, they directly conducted a test whether

the programme has induced significant changes in expenditure elasticities (as implied by their

associated marginal propensities to consume) and find evidence of this for alcohol and tobacco,

and to a lesser extent for food, health and transportation and communication (The Kenya CT-

OVC Evaluation Team, 2012).

In an attempt to increase the impact of income support programs, the Government of

Pakistan launched a new conditional cash transfer program (CCT) in 2006, the Child

Support Program (CSP), to be administered by the Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal (PBM). This

program, currently in its pilot phase, is to pay quarterly benefits to FSP beneficiary

households with children, conditional on their children enrolling in and attending school

regularly. In other words, the CSP provides monetary incentives for poor households with

young children (5 to 12 years of age) to invest in human capital accumulation while

contributing to short-term poverty alleviation. Although Pakistan runs stipends programs,

this is the first poverty-targeted CCT Program.

In order to evaluate the effects of the pilot CSP program, a baseline survey was

conducted in 10 selected districts between October 2006 to March 2007. Original

treatment districts are Bhakkar, Tharparkar, Kohistan, Kharan and Ghanchey and the

original control districts include Layyah, Batagram, Skardu, Badin and Panjgoor. From

each district a fixed number of UCs were selected randomly. However, in practice the

CSP was only piloted in the three treatment districts (Bhakkar, Tharparkar, Kohistan)

instead of five districts during the implementation stage. The baseline data were collected

in randomly selected 2600 households and about 150 schools in these ten districts

(Bank, 2009).

Political Implications of 4Ps in the Philippines

Being a government-funded program in its nature, 4Ps is vulnerable to the influence of

politics thus affecting its genuine intention which is to provide assistance to the poor and needy.

Even the officials of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) warned local

government officials against using the National Governments conditional cash transfer program

for their political interests (SUN STAR CEBU , 2013). This tendency by local politicians was

particularly pronounced during the run-up to the May 10, 2010 national and local elections, says

4Ps public relations officer Pamela Caperina-Susara. There were candidates, she says, who tried

to sway Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries to vote in their favor, citing removal from the program

as a repercussion for unfavorable votes (PJIC, 2011).

According to (Guila, 2011), it also serves as a tool for political patronage from the

highest to the lowest level of governance as well as venues for massive graft and corruptions.

Even though the government devises safeguards in monitoring the operations of the program and

give the lie to the notions of Pantawid Pamilya positive effects on Filipino families, factual

accounts at the grassroots level tell otherwise.

Pantawid Pamilya staff barred from joining partisan activities was reminded to refrain from

engaging in partisan political activities, most especially those assigned in the implementation of

the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (PantawidPamilya). Violators will, at the very least,

face suspension, warned Assistant Secretary for Operations TeoduloRomo Jr. He was here

recently for the signing of a memorandum of agreement with 15 local government units from the

provinces of Aklan, Antique, Iloilo and Negros Occidental for the expansion of the 4Ps. Romo

specifically warned personnel assigned in the 4Ps program against allowing themselves to be

used by politicians. It had come to the attention of DSWD recently that unscrupulous people

were using the program for their selfish political agenda. Twelve epal (Filipino slang for

shameless or credit-grabbing people) politicians in Western Visayas reportedly claimed the 4Ps

as their own. As of last month, 296,365 households in Region 6 were already covered by the

program. Complaints reached DSWD that some election candidates were using the 4Ps to gain

leverage over the poor. Specifically, beneficiaries were threatened of being delisted from the

program. DSWD maintained that only its national and regional offices can delist beneficiaries

from the 4Ps. 4Ps is a human development program of the national government that invests in

the health and education of poor households, particularly of children aged zero to 14 years old.

Patterned after the conditional cash transfer scheme implemented in other developing countries,

4Ps provides cash grants to beneficiaries provided that they comply with the set of conditions

required by the program. DSWD Regional Director Evelyn Macapobre said politicians are not

allowed to claim credit for the program, even during the cash distribution so that they will not

use the activity for politicking. Macapobres predecessor, MindaBrigoli, weeks before she left

Western Visayas for a new assignment also warned DSWD organic personnel including

volunteer workers of the agency against campaigning for their preferred election candidates.

We must remain apolitical. That is a very clear directive from our Secretary (Corazon Dinky

Soliman), said Brigoli. She urged the public to report any DSWD personnel publicly known to

be close allies of certain politicians so she can act immediately on the matter.

According to Romo, DSWD is improving the 4Ps implementation. sssssTo further shield it from

undue politicking, DSWD has launched a nationwide advocacy campaign dubbed Bawalang

Epal Dito. The campaign aims to protect 4Ps beneficiaries from baseless threats of removal

from the program and external pressures if they will not support certain politicos (PANAY

News, 2013).

Since CCTs are administered primarily at the local level, opening the possibility that incumbents

having the power, can manipulate the course of CCT funds, basically by adding or delisting

names from the roster of beneficiaries depending on who the resident supports in the election.

Moreover, even without deliberate manipulation, CCTs unintentionally aid incumbents stay in

power noting that CCT beneficiaries are unfairly distributed across the country. Thus, it is likely

that incumbents turned to be more popular and irremovable from office if there is a concentration

of CCT within the area than political officials that has low or no concentration of CCT in their

respective localities.

Likewise, political contenders in CCT-intensive areas may have a much harder time being

elected in office simply because incumbents are able to enjoy leverage in having CCTs

distributed under their leadership and during their term of office. If not, changes are to be made

in the approach on how the CCT beneficiaries are distributed geographically; eventually 4Ps may

even make it difficult to abolish political dynasties in the long run (Punongbayan, 2013).

A number of municipalities are tightly controlled by political dynasties and, thus, I can test

whether the effects are dependent upon the political environment. In a competitive political

environment, incumbent vote share is 26 percentage-points higher in municipalities where the

program was implemented in all villages than in municipalities where the program was

implemented in half of them. The program had no impact in municipalities with low levels of

political competition (Labonne, 2013).

Comelec officials in Pangasinan province perceived PantawidPamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps)

is being used by aspiring barangay candidates to lure residents to register for the synchronized

barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in October. On the other hand, according to

provincial election supervisor Marino Salas, residents interviewed by Comelec said that they are

not afraid that they would not be included in the 4Ps or be delisted from the program if they did

not support certain candidates (Cardinoza, 2013).

DSWD-ARMM is currently rolling out a media campaign to inform the public that no

local politician has the authority to add or delist CCT beneficiaries called Bawal ang

EPAL dito campaign. This action as the department is worried that some politicians may

take advantage of the Pantawid Pamilya program to gain leverage for the May 2013

elections. In anticipation of such incidents, the DSWD-ARMM is ready to receive

reports, feedbacks, and messages about politicians or candidates who may claim to have

the authority to enlist and delist household beneficiaries from the program (Mediang

Bayan, 2013).

Stated by (Punongbayan, 2013),Given this style of local campaigning, the governments 4Ps

initiative (what with its massive funds) will surely not go unnoticed and untouched. In fact some

politicians have already reportedly threatened to use 4Ps as a tool to reward supporters and

punish non-supporters.

Furthermore, some figures shows that there is really political touch on the CCT program. In

November 2012, the Commission on Audit (COA) released a report that found critical problems

in the implementation of the program, including a decline in beneficiaries in 2011, billions in

unaccounted disbursements, deficient supervision in household registration and questionable use

of funds. A COA-conducted survey also found that not all beneficiaries were really poor, yet

were included in the program. Supporting with the COA is the statement of by Juliet de Loza-

Cudia,Samantala, natuklasan umano ng Commission on Audit sa 2012 annual audit report ng

Department of Social Welfare and Development sa CCT payroll mula Enero hanggang Agosto

ng taong 2012 ay doble-doble o nagkaroon ng duplication ng mga pangalan ng CCT

beneficiaries na naitala sa 4,443 kung saan pumalo sa P17,435,700 ang kabuuang grant

Thus, Punongbayan, (2013), many studies have shown that well-crafted and well-implemented

CCTs can work. But the benefits usually take a long time to manifest since CCTs are really not

about reducing poverty now but reducing poverty in the future. The countrys own 4Ps initiative

is still in its infancy, and its success will inevitably hinge on its being protected from political

abuse especially in the upcoming elections. Finally, CCT in the Philippines is most likely

vulnerable for political purpose especially during elections and can be a machinery of politicians

in expanding and maintaining themselves in power. In fact, if this inadequate political behavior

will be compensated, it is in no doubt CCT program will never be efficient and will not be a help

in reducing poverty in the Philippines.

The relevant literatures about the 4Ps are enough proof for the validity of the researchers

assertion of the presence of politics in the implementation of the program. The general

assessments about the program, being under the influenced of politics and politicking, is

predicted to be present even in the local political sphere of Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental.

Hence, this chapter invites more data collection to expose the darker effect of this as the program

is contaminated with unfortunate realities of politics along the process of its implementation.