Improved targeting of social protection programs urged

By Leslie Gatpolintan

February 23, 2018, 8:54 pm

MANILA -- The government needs to improve targeting of social protection programs aimed to uplift the lives of the poor and the vulnerable, according to a report from the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS).

In an Economic Issue of the Day, PIDS information officer Rejinel G. Valencia said it is imperative to fix the country’s current social protection measures, while noting the good performance of programs such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

Valencia also cited the AlkanSSSya program of the Social Security System (SSS) and Private Education Student Financial Assistance (PESFA), a scholarship program of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

Under the AlkanSSSya program, the government provides the informal and poor workers, such as farmers, fisherfolk and drivers, an affordable and convenient way to save part of their daily income for their social security contributions.

“The good performance of programs such as AlkanSSSya, PESFA, and 4Ps in terms of improving the situation of their beneficiaries should serve as an inspiration to the government to continue promoting social protection as a tool to uplift the lives of the poor and the vulnerable,” he said.

Nonetheless, Valencia said the government should consider strengthening the programs’ targeting rules given that many of them suffer from leakage.

He said it should also invest in monitoring and evaluation to ensure that these interventions are meeting their objectives.

Further, Valencia underscored the need for the adoption of innovative measures in the country, such as adaptive social protection (ASP) programs.

A paper describes ASP as a relatively new concept that intersects social protection, climate change adaptation, and disaster risk reduction measures to strengthen the poverty reduction efforts of the government. (PNA)