Sealing the DSWD-UNICEF partnership on the provision of unconditional cash transfers under the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund for Anticipatory Action for predictable hazards are (from left to right) DSWD Undersecretary Felicisimo C. Budiongan, UNICEF Deputy Representatives for Programs Behzad Noubary, Landbank Senior Vice President Marilou L. Villafranca, and UNICEF Chief of Social Policy Atty. Anjanette Saguisag. (DSWD)

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on June 14, agreed to provide multi-purpose unconditional cash transfers to some 22,000 families in typhoon vulnerable towns of Catanduanes and Northern Samar.

Under the United Nations’ Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for anticipatory action (AA) for predictable hazards, unconditional cash top up will be provided to around 22,000 Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries, including 42,239 children, in the municipalities of Baras, Bato, San Andres, and Virac in the province of Catanduanes, and municipalities of Catarman, Catubig, Gamay, Mondragon, and San Roque in Northern Samar.

The assistance will be provided three days before the landfall of a Category 4 typhoon, consistent with the principles of the anticipatory action.

Each family will receive P1,000 per family, calculated as 30 percent of children’s estimated minimum expenditure basket for nutrition, education, water, sanitation and hygiene, and child protection services.

The cash assistance will be provided to 4Ps beneficiaries through the Land Bank of the Philippines, the government’s depository bank.

In addition to the top-up cash assistance, UNICEF will also test the provision of anticipatory multi-purpose cash transfers using existing national government social protection systems to mitigate the impact of disasters and generate evidence to contribute to DSWD policy development that strengthens national social protection systems for future humanitarian and disaster response.

DSWD said the partnership is a product of the Philippine UN Humanitarian Country Team’s development of a framework that is fit-for-purpose, framed according to existing operational coordination mechanisms and response plans, and built on lessons learned and good practices from past typhoon preparedness and responses.

UNICEF Philippines Deputy Representative Behzad Noubary underscored the importance and urgency of the partnership.

By providing support before a disaster happens, CERF AA seeks to mitigate, and to a certain extent prevent, the impact of typhoons on people’s homes and livelihoods, while building on government’s mandatory pre-emptive evacuation procedures that save lives.

“This is the first time that we will test the concept of anticipatory action through a shock responsive social protection model. Through this intervention, the most at-risk communities will have better financial resources to bounce back after a typhoon. Traditional disaster response, when complemented with anticipatory actions, can significantly reduce the impact of disasters and allow for a faster recovery,” Noubary said.

DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista, in a statement read by Undersecretary Felicisimo Budiongan, said: “This Anticipatory Action Pilot Project is a good start to test the provision of anticipatory multi-purpose cash transfers using existing national government social protection systems specifically through the provision of top-up to Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries.”

“Also, this pilot project can generate evidence to improve the policies on strengthening the social protection systems within the department. Again, congratulations to all of you who took part in benchmarking the anticipatory action in government systems,” Bautista said.

Source: Manila Bulletin (