Congress Asked to Adopt Brazil's Pro-Poor Program to Improve Pinoys' Living Conditions

Manila Bulletin, June 25, 2009 | Go to article overview

Congress Asked to Adopt Brazil's Pro-Poor Program to Improve Pinoys' Living Conditions


President Arroyo has called on Congress to pass a law institutionalizing a program providing conditional cash transfer for poor Filipino families to help improve their living conditions.The President asked Filipino legislators to pattern the pro-poor program after Brazil’s Bolsa Familia (Family Grant), a welfare program that provides financial assistance to indigent families on condition that their children go to school and take part in vaccination programs.Mrs. Arroyo made the appeal shortly after her meetings with Brazilian government leaders, whose Bolsa Familia program has benefited 12 million poor families, during her state visit in the South American nation.“President Arroyo asked the legislators who were with her during the briefing to enact a law that will enable the government to create a program similar to the Bolsa Familia to help the poorest of the poor and the hungry in the Philippines have a better life,” a statement from the Palace.The President said the Bolsa Familia program has many strategies that may be incorporated to the Philippine setting and enhance pro-poor programs of the government.At present, the administration has established “Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program,” a poverty reduction program extremely poor households to improve their health, nutrition and education through grants, which is also modeled on a similar scheme in Brazil.In remarks at a state luncheon hosted by Brazil President Luis Inacio da Silva at the Palacio de Itamaraty in Brasilia, the President said she was inspired by Brazil’s program linking welfare checks to school attendance and access to health services and introduced "Pantawid Pamilya program" back in 2007. …

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