Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Stimulus in the Philippines

In our searches today, we found part of the plan the Philippines has to keep their economy thriving during the global recession.

A cash transfer program in the Philippines will give mothers and their children money if the parents promise to keep their kids in school.

From Business World Onlne, Maria Eloisa I. Calderon fills us in on the program, as well as gives us the latest poverty stats for the country.

The program involves handing out cash — P500 for healthcare and P300 per child for education (a maximum of P1,400 per family) — to mothers on condition that their children are sent to school.

"We have identified 320,00 households this year but the President [Gloria Macapagal Arroyo] gave an order for us to double it to P700,000," Ms. Pablo told BusinessWorld, adding the additional budget will be drawn from the President’s social fund.

The DSWD, which has drawn up a five-year plan to 2012 for the conditional cash transfer program, will need an estimated P10 billion every year for every 700,000 families, she said.

In its latest MDG progress report, the National Economic and Development Authority said the proportion of people living in extreme poverty had fallen to 13.5% in 2003 from 24.3% in 1991.

The UNDP is currently conducting a survey to get an estimate of how many people in the Asia-Pacific region have fallen back to poverty as a result of the crisis. Mr. Chhibber pointed out that a "significant part" of the roughly 400 million people who have risen out of poverty in recent years on the back of buoyant economic growth would be adversely affected.

"A global recovery from this crisis is going to take much longer ... and therefore, much more Asian solutions to this crisis must be found," he said.

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