Frequently Asked Questions

  • It is a priority social protection program of the government that focuses on increasing human capital of children of poor families;
  • Provides conditional cash grants to extremely poor households to improve their health and education, particularly children aged 0-18;
  • Invests in human capital to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty among poor households

Poor Households who are included in the data base of the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction commonly known as the Listahanan and must be able to satisfy the following requirement:

  1. With children aged 0-14 years old or have pregnant member of the household at the time of registration into the program (children aged 6-18 years old must be in school); and
  2. Willing and able to commit to meet the conditions specified by the program.

Household beneficiaries are identified through the use of a poverty targeting system called the Listahanan. It identifies who and where the poor are.

The process by which the program beneficiaries are selected includes assessment of the demographic and socioeconomic data collected from millions of households in poor areas.

Through the data generated, the system calculates the estimated annual per capita income of the households through the use of Proxy Means Test (PMT). Based on their PMT score (estimated annual per capita household income), they are classified as poor if their estimated income is below the provincial poverty threshold set by the Philippine Statistics Authority.

  • Health Grant: P500 per month per household or a total of P6,000 per year.
  • Education Grant: P300 per month for ten (10) months or a total of P3,000 in a school year for children enrolled in the elementary and P500.00  per month or P10,000 in a school year for those enrolled in high school
  • Rice subsidy: each compliant household is entitled to receive P600.00 per month
  • UCT: With the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, a monthly subsidy amounting to P200 for 2018 and P300 for 2019 and 2020 is also being provided to active households of the program

For Education:

  • School-aged (3-18 years old) shall attend school appropriate to them and must register a monthly attendance of at least 85%

For Health:

  • Children 0-5 years old shall get regular preventive health check-ups and vaccines;
  • Pregnant women shall get pre-natal care, child birth is attended by skilled/health professional and mother shall get post-natal care in accordance with standard DOH protocol; and
  • Children 6-14 years old must receive de-worming pills twice a year.

For Family Development Session:

  • Parent/guardians shall attend responsible parenting sessions, mothers’ classes on health and nutrition, parent effectiveness services and other topics fit for their needs and interest at least once a month.

The PMT yields estimates of household income. Because these are only estimates, it is only accurate in classifying who the poor and non-poor are to a certain degree, just like the PMTs used in CCT programs of other countries. As such it may misclassify some as poor (inclusion error) and non-poor (exclusion error).

Pantawid Pamilya is aware of these inclusion and exclusion errors that is why it established a grievance redress system to address related complaints. As of June 2018, it has already removed 29,639 households that were found to be non-poor.

Those that were eligible and equally poor but excluded in Listahanan were enrolled in the Modified CCT that has covered about 230,000 families since 2014.

The other reason why a poor household is not in the program is because they neither have children aged 0 – 14 years old or pregnant member at the time of Listahanan household assessment. The program caters only to poor households that now have children 0 – 18 years old as a result of the extension of education grants to children 15 – 18 years old.

Pantawid Pamilya is NOT a “dole-out” program in the sense that it does not hand- out cash only for the sake of helping beneficiaries. From the word itself, the transfer of cash is CONDITIONAL—which means beneficiaries must comply with program conditions related to increasing human capital in order to continue receiving CCT grants.

The CCT grants serve specific objectives of keeping the children healthy and in school. A compliance verification system is in place and co-implemented with schools and health centers nationwide to monitor if the children are indeed attending school and taking up the necessary preventive health services.

No, the two Pantawid Pamilya impact evaluations have shown that there are more working adult members of CCT households compared to non-beneficiaries, and that more of them are looking for additional work. This is consistent with international evidence in other CCT programs that giving cash transfers does not reduce labor force participation of the poor.

We should be conscious of the possible prejudice in thinking that the poor are poor because they are lazy to find and do actual work. The poor are undereducated (only 10% of Pantawid Pamilya adult members are high school graduates) that is why their level of productivity is low and they could not get good-paying, long-term jobs.

DSWD has already provided employment facilitation or livelihood grants to some 1.56 million Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries and will continue to give such through the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).

Livelihood projects do not increase the human capital of the children, which is the main thrust of Pantawid Pamilya. That is why the program conditionalities revolve around enabling children of poor families to get more years of education and get all the basic preventive health services.

Even if all members of the program receive livelihood assistance, it is no guarantee that it will get them out of poverty. Operating a business or livelihood regardless of size entails a lot of financial risks. Poor entrepreneurs are at a greater disadvantage in dealing with risk of business loss because they do not have much capital or savings in the first place.

This aphorism should be taken lightly when we speak of helping the current set of poor Filipinos. Before we decide to “teach how to fish” or to give jobs instead of cash transfers, we should recognize that only 10% of the CCT adult members are high school graduates. They have low human capital (educational attainment and entrepreneurial knowledge and skills) that is why they cannot be employed in decent paying jobs (that usually require a high school diploma) and they cannot sustain productive types of self-employment or livelihood.

In this case, it is more strategic to ensure that children of poor families graduate from high school first so that they have better chances of enjoying better quality of life than their parents’ generation.

NEDA in its launch of the 2015 Official Poverty Statistics said:

“One of the major factors in this improvement of poverty reduction is the increased budget in government’s social development programs, which significantly augmented the income of the poorest households… The regularity of the cash transfer sustained for three years for many CCT beneficiaries has accorded them some resiliency to weather certain shocks.  The program also induced more economic activity in the poor barangays given the presence of a cash economy.  These conditions may have also encouraged a number of them to diversify their livelihood sources.”

NEDA in its 2017 Socio-Economic Report mentions that:

“By far, the most comprehensive program to address […] vulnerability is the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).  This program needs to be sustained and even enhanced”.

The World Bank in its 2018 assessment of poverty in the Philippines (Making Growth Work for the Poor) reports that “transfers from government social programs [CCT] contributed about 25 percent of the reduction [in poverty incidence between 2006 and 2015].”

The main pathway is through the accumulation of human capital which is long term. Pantawid Pamilya intends to break the intergenerational transfer of poverty, helping poor families escape the poverty trap of being poor because they have no decent jobs or undereducated and sickly;

Through investment in the education and health of the children of poor families today, we hope to see the next generation to be comprised of more children who have at least graduated from high school and have kept themselves healthy so that they become productive citizens who have greater chances of getting decent paying jobs than their parents.

The other pathway is short-term- Pantawid Pamilya augments the income of the transitory poor whose income level could already have returned to above the poverty threshold because of the continuous receipt of grants.

Impact on EDUCATION: Higher school enrolment and attendance rates; lower dropout rate

Compared to Non-CCT Beneficiaries with similar demographic and socio-economic characteristics, Pantawid beneficiaries have:

  • 7 to 11 percentage points higher enrollment rate for 3 – 5 y/o children
  • 1 to 5 percentage points higher enrollment rate for 6 – 11 y/o children
  • 5 to 6 percentage points higher enrollment rate for 12 – 14 y/o children
  • 5 to 8 percentage points higher attendance rate for 3 – 5 y/o children
  • 4 percentage points higher attendance rate for 6 – 11 y/o children
  • 1 – 5 percentage points higher attendance rate for 12 – 14 y/o children
  • 3 percentage points lower drop-out rate for 12 – 15 y/o children
  • 5 percentage points lower drop-out rate for 16 – 20 y/o children

Impact on CHILDREN’S HEALTH: increased availment of basic health services and reduced severe stunting for young children

Compared to Non-Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries, they have:

  • 10 percentage points lower incidence of severe stunting for children 6 months to 3 years old
  • 5 – 8 percentage points higher take up rate of deworming pills for children under 15 years old
  • 12 percentage points higher take up rate of Vitamin A supplement for children under 6 years old
  • 12 percentage points higher take up rate of Iron supplements for children under 6 years old
  • 20 percentage points higher incidence of weight monitoring for children under 6 years old
  • 13 percentage points higher incidence of seeking treatment for childhood diseases

Impact on MATERNAL HEALTH: Increased take-up rates of maternal health services and incidence of birth facility delivery

Compared to Non-Pantawid households, they have:

  • 5 percentage points higher rate of Pre-Natal Checkup among pregnant mothers
  • 14 percentage points higher rate of Health Facility-based Deliveries
  • 20 percentage points higher rate of Post-Natal Checkup by a skilled health professional
  • 17 percentage points higher rate of Post-Natal Checkup at a health facility

Pantawid does not encourage poor households to conceive more children based on the results of impact evaluation that says the average family size of both beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries if 7 members.

This is consistent with findings from impact evaluation of other countries’ CCT programs that show the continuous receipt of cash transfers does not induce higher fertility rate.

No, the 2012 and 2014 impact evaluations have consistently shown that there was no increase in the amount spent in alcohol, tobacco, and gambling.

External spot check surveys have shown that beneficiaries spend the bulk of cash grants for food and for the schooling needs of their children like uniform and school projects.

The initial 5-year limit was scrapped in favor of allowing the program to help children achieve higher education outcomes.

The program benefits were extended for children 15 – 18 years old in 2014 because DSWD wants to further help Pantawid Pamilya children graduate from high school.

Based on the analysis done by the Philippines Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), earning a high school diploma results to better employment opportunities and better income as compared to those who did at least reach or finish high school, which will give them a fighting chance to combat poverty.

A household may continue to receive program benefits until the youngest of their children monitored for education graduates from high school or turns 19 years old before the start of the school year.

DSWD wants to see Pantawid Pamilya households eventually exit not only from the program but from poverty. That is why Pantawid Pamilya is linked up with other government programs like PhilHealth (for health insurance), UNIFAST (for college education), and Sustainable Livelihood Program (for employment and livelihood) to ensure that they are being helped while they are still in Pantawid Pamilya and that they have access to major social services when they have already exited the program.