ADB Backs Philippine Cash Incentive Program

The Asian Development Bank approved today (Sept. 2) a USD400 million loan to help expand the Philippines’ conditional cash transfer program.

The project, known as the “Pamilyang Pilipino Program,” [The Filipino Family Program] aims to provide monthly cash grants to some 2.3 million Philippine households by the end of 2011. Beneficiary families who ensure their children are attending school, and children and pregnant women go to health centers for regular checkups are eligible for cash grants.

The conditional cash transfer program is a “necessary” tool to reduce poverty in the Philippines, ADB country director for the Philippines, Neeraj Jain, said in a press briefing Sept. 2. The CCT, however, must be complemented by livelihood programs, and improvements on health and educational services.

Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Corazon Juliano Soliman, who was also at the press briefing, said the Asian nation will likely miss the Millennium Development Goal on halving poverty incidence. She was, however, optimistic that the Philippines will achieve the MDGs on education and maternal health if the citizenry supports the government’s efforts to advance these goals.

The ADB loan will be used to provide financial support to 582,000 families. It is complemented by two-year technical assistance grants worth USD1.1 million, which will be used to tap non-governmental and civil society organizations, among other entities, to monitor the project.

Meanwhile, ADB has increased the requirements for contractors bidding for a road project in Azerbaijan, which is backed by the regional lender.

 The bank has allocated some USD200 million to support road construction along Masalli and Astara. The Azerbaijani Ministry of Transport has announced tenders for this project, reports.

Applicants should have turnover of construction work of more than three years, amounting not less than USD175 million annually. They should have also participated in at least three projects worth USD90 million each over a five-year period, among others.

“The ministry judges by that only the companies, possessing serious potential, are capable to fulfill works at high level, and we support this approach,” according to the ADB office in Baku. “We are sure that we will find contractors meet these requirements.”

The bank has also expanded the repurchasing of land for the implementation of this road project, which is expected to be completed by 2013, reports.

About the author

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    Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.