THE World Bank hailed Wednesday the Philippine conditional cash transfer program, saying it is one of the "best-targeted" social safety net programs in the world.

Ruslan Yemtsov, who led the preparation of the report "The State of Social Safety Nets 2015" and World Bank Lead Technical Expert on Social Safety Nets, said that 82 percent of the benefits of the Philippines’ CCT program goes to the bottom 40 percent of the Philippine population comprising the country’s poor households, as well as those that are highly vulnerable to poverty.

“Poverty in the Philippines is a dynamic phenomenon and many households move in and out of poverty during the year due to factors like calamities, droughts, or the advent of the lean seasons,” said Yemtsov.

“The poor and vulnerable in the Philippines benefit from what is today one of the largest and best-targeted social safety net programs in the world.”

Social safety net programs include cash and in-kind transfers targeted to poor and vulnerable households, with the goal of protecting families from the impact of economic shocks, natural disasters, and other crises; ensuring that children grow up healthy, well-fed, and can stay in school and learn; empowering women and girls; and creating jobs.

According to The State of Social Safety Nets 2015, more than 1.9 billion people in 136 low- and middle-income countries benefit from social safety net programs.

World Bank noted that in the Philippines, almost 4.5 million households are enrolled in the Pantawid Pamilya from only 360,000 households in 2008.

“The CCT grants, on average, only account for about 11 percent of the income of the poorest recipient households,” said World Bank Country Director Motoo Konishi.

“Yet, for poor and vulnerable households the grants are very important. Two rounds of rigorous impact evaluation show that they use the money to buy food, school uniforms and school supplies for their children.”

Konishi said the impact evaluation studies also show that CCT is delivering on its objectives: keeping poor children in school and healthy. (SDR/Sunnex)