The Department of Social Welfare and Development and its development partners, the World Bank (WB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and Social Weather Stations (SWS) gathered last August 23 at the Asian Institute of Management to publicly present the results of the Impact Evaluation.

Attended by various sectors from the academe, media, civil society organizations, non-government organizations, DSWD Secretary Corazon Soliman said that the impact evaluation presents empirical evidence stating impressive results about the effectiveness of the Pantawid Pamilyang on our poor Filipino households.

“After two and a half years of implementation and more than a year of data collection and analysis, the Impact Evaluation done by the World Bank, in collaboration with SWS, and supported by the ADB, and AusAID, shows that the program is on track and is indeed achieving its objectives – of keeping children healthy and in school. The program is effective in creating avenues for the poor to have improved quality of life,” Soliman said.

For her part, Junko Onishi, Social Protection Specialist of the World Bank pointed out, “Although these results are preliminary and more in-depth analyses are on-going, the evidence suggests that Pantawid Pamilya is on track and having impacts on the beneficiary households. When the analysis is completed, we will know the full spectrum of the impacts the program brings as well as the challenges for future improvement.”

Soliman also reiterated that the impact evaluation is in fulfillment of DSWD’s commitment to transparency and accountability whereby the status report of the Pantawid Pamilya program implementation and accomplishment should be made known to the public.

“Given the amount of investment made by the government on the program, it is imperative for the Department in coordination with other stakeholders, to develop a strong and comprehensive monitoring and evaluation framework/assessment, which will ensure that:

  1. The money allocated for the program since it began in 2008 are spent correctly
  2. The goals and outcomes identified for the program are in fact being achieved,” Soliman added.

The Impact Evaluation was a rigorous research activity of data collection and analysis undertaken by the World Bank, in collaboration with SWS, for more than a year. It is the first among the 3-round series of rigorous monitoring and evaluation strategies to gather solid and quantifiable evidence on benefits emerging from the Pantawid Pamilya at different stages, in addition to the semi-annual Spot Checks on the operational efficiency of the program.

“The challenge to the government is to sustain these improvements in the lives of the families from the program. It is important that it reaches its target of 4.3 million poor households by 2016, and that household beneficiaries stay in the program by continuing to comply with its conditions. Toward this end, a coordinated approach is necessary where national government agencies involved in poverty reduction coordinate their activities and interventions to maximize government’s investment in human capital”, Soliman explained.

The Pantawid Pamilya, also widely known as the Philippine conditional cash transfer program, is a human development program of the national government and a social protection strategy that invests in the health and education of poor children age 0-14 years old. As of July 2012, the program has 3, 041, 152 household beneficiaries in 1,400 cities and municipalities in 79 provinces in all 17 regions nationwide.