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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau



12 May 2022 05:15:36 PM

The House Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department (CPBRD), in partnership with UNICEF Philippines, conducted a knowledge sharing webinar on Thursday entitled, "Lessons on Financing Shock-Responsive Social Protection in the Philippines." In his welcome remarks, CPBRD Deputy Secretary General Dr. Romulo Emmanuel Miral Jr. said that the House Secretariat is already working on recommendations for the incoming 19th Congress' legislative agenda. Moreover, Miral hopes that the webinar would be able to answer questions on: 1) sufficiency of funds for disaster response, recovery and reconstruction, 2) mobilization of funds to ensure availability and sustainability, and 3) the effective utilization of earmarked funds. Meanwhile, UNICEF Representative Behzad Noubary said that one of the causes of child poverty is the high vulnerability to shocks and the lack of capacity to respond to their immediate and long-term consequences. Noubary said that using social protection programs to complement traditional emergency response would help speed up the process of recovery such as in the socio-economic impact of COVID-19. For his part, Economic Policy Research Institute (EPRI) Lead Researcher Nard Huijbregts talked about the investment case formulated for shock responsive social protection in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). The EPRI was tasked to assess the shock responsive social protection context in BARMM, review current financing arrangements for social protection and disaster response, identify options for shock responsive social protections programs, and provide police recommendations. Huijbregts stressed that the timing of response is vital to avert human capital losses and that building a new system should go hand in hand with strengthening existing social protection programs in the BARMM. Meanwhile, UNICEF Philippines Disaster Risk Management Specialist Fides Borja presented a Philippine case study on disaster risk financing and social protection, which sought to assess the factors that affect the speed and overall effectiveness of disaster risk financing mechanisms for shock responsive social protection. She said that current government initiatives that would create positive social impact include: 1) the Philippine Identification System, which can help streamline future beneficiary enrollment and account, 2) Mandanas Ruling implementation, which would grant local government units greater autonomy with regards to funding thus, necessitating greater spending on social protection, and 3) efforts to create a new Department of Disaster Resilience. CPBRD Executive Director Novel Bangsal served as reactor during the webinar.