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From Diminished to De Minimis: The Declining Value of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program Conditional Cash Transfers

Persistent high food price inflation and concerns on the ability of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiary families to augment their incomes in a languid post-Covid-19 economy spurred discussions in Congress to revisit the amounts of the conditional cash transfers. The paper examines the diminished value of the transfers in terms of the share of the grants in relation to poverty thresholds, food thresholds, and income gap; illustrative value of the rice subsidy; real purchasing power; and the estimated needed inflation-adjustments. The findings support the current calls to adjust the already eroded value of the grants and outline the financial implications. Other recommendations include the institutionalization of the rice subsidy, annual period of review, and exploration of options in determining the grant adjustment mechanisms.


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