MANILA, June 11 (Mabuhay)– Japan-led multilateral lender Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved another loan for the Philippines, this time $500 million to expand the conditional cash transfer program.

In a statement on Wednesday, the ADB said the approved loan will cover the expanded Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) introduced in 2008.

“The 4Ps program provides vulnerable households with an income supplement to help their children become educated, stay healthy, and leave poverty for good. Our evidence shows that this is working,” said ADB vice-president Ahmed Saeed.

“The 4Ps program has helped 1.5 million people escape poverty since it began in 2008. Through this project loan and technical assistance support, ADB is helping the Philippines expand these gains,” he added.

The 4Ps gives poor families cash assistance provided their children remain in school, visit health centers, and attend family development sessions.

In addition to the loan, the ADB said it will also provide a $3.1-million technical assistance to help improve development sessions, provide livelihood packages, support IT reforms, and prepare for the integration with the national identification system.

The ADB already approved in April a $200-million loan for the Philippines to finance emergency cash subsidies for beneficiaries of the 4Ps program.

The ADB in 2010 and 2016 approved a $400-million loan grant to the Philippines for the same program, which is said to be the fourth-largest CCT in the world after India, Brazil, and Mexico.

The Philippines and the ADB in April also signed a $1.5-billion loan agreement, roughly P76.5 billion, as budgetary support for the government’s fight against the coronavirus disease 2019. (MNS)

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