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Social protection in Indonesia and the Philippines: work in progress.

I. Introduction

Social protection is now accepted in policy circles as an integral part of development. Unlike as recently as the mid-1990s, when scepticism towards social protection was widespread, scholars and policy-makers acknowledge that it is a necessity in all countries, regardless of income level or political system. As a result of the shift, contemporary debates on the subject centre on the form and extent of social protection. Shifting trends are starkly evident in Indonesia and the Philippines, which offer opportunities not only for understanding developments in the two countries but also shed light on the broader debate on social protection.

The widespread agreement on the need for social protection conceals deep differences over details. Earlier definitions of social protection tended to be narrow and typically referred to public transfers to offset "stoppage or fall in income resulting from death, old age, sickness, employment-injury, maternity and temporary unemployment" (ILO 1984). Many recent definitions take a broader approach and use the term to describe an expansive range of functions: protective, preventive, promotive, and transformative (Guhan 1994, Sabates-Wheeler and Devereux 2007). The broader approach touches on the entire gamut of public policies because all public programmes entail promotive and transformative effects in some direct or indirect way. To keep the scope of the discussion manageable, this paper adopts a narrower approach and focuses only on protective and preventive programmes. For our purposes, the Asian Development Bank's (ADB 2001) definition of social protection--a "set of policies and programmes designed to reduce poverty and vulnerability ... against hazards and interruption/loss of income"--is sufficient for a focussed examination of the programmes in Indonesia and the Philippines. The ADB definition is consistent with other commonly used definitions, such as the Social Risk Management framework proposed by the World Bank (Holzmann, Sherbume-Benz and Tesliuc 2003) and the concept of "Pro-Poor Growth" associated with many international organizations (Brunori and O'Reilly 2010). While specific emphases vary, they all stress that social protection is about reducing poverty and vulnerability to it.

The range of social protection programmes is vast indeed and includes the following types:

* Social insurance--applicable largely to the formally employed.

* Cash or in-kind transfers, whether means-tested or categorical. The transfers may be unconditional or conditional.

* Labour-intensive public works programmes to create employment opportunities for the unemployed.

* Price subsidies (often for food or energy) or fee waivers for essential services (such as healthcare, education and utilities).

* Compulsory savings and microfinance. However, these measures play only a limited role in protecting the poor and, as such, may be excluded.

The different arrangements are in most instances functionally equivalent in assisting households in need but are very different in terms of how they work, how much they cost and whom they assist. Means-tested transfer programmes, for instance, may cost less overall but have the unintended effect of excluding many poor and including many non-poor due to targeting errors. Similarly, price subsides for food and energy, meant to provide relief to the poor, are disproportionately utilized by the rich, who tend to consume more of these commodities. No less significantly, programmes must take into account social and economic contexts and the individual circumstances of the beneficiaries. Public works programmes, for instance, do little for the aged, sick or disabled poor. Similarly, social insurance programmes are ill-suited for the informally employed because of difficulties in collecting premiums on a regular basis. In the same vein, conditional cash transfers (CCT) predicated on school attendance and healthcare make little sense in areas where there is a shortage of schools or healthcare facilities (Roelen, this issue). The different implications suggest the need for a multi-pillar yet cohesive system that caters for different needs. Unfortunately, poorly designed and misdirected programmes are rather the norm around the world due to political and institutional rigidities and misunderstandings among policy-makers.

The development indicators for Indonesia and the Philippines are remarkably similar, making them strong cases for comparison. Indonesia's current per capita GDP is PPP US$4,298 while the Philippines' is PPP US$3,943. The former has experienced an annual GDP growth rate of 4 per cent on average since 2000 while the latter has averaged 3 per cent. The average unemployment rate in both countries has been 9 per cent of the workforce since 2000. Similarly, the average poverty headcount ratio at PPP US$1.25 a day stands at 22 per cent of the population in Indonesia and 21 per cent in the Philippines. However, the headcount poverty at PPP US$2 is higher in Indonesia at 53 per cent in 2009 compared to 42 per cent in the Philippines. The US$1.25 poverty rate in the Philippines has remained relatively stable since the mid-1990s, whereas in Indonesia it has declined continuously since reading a high of 48 per cent in 1999 (World Bank n.d. (b)). The informal sector in both countries is large, comprising 70 per cent of the workforce in Indonesia and 50 per cent in the Philippines, but the large difference between both percentages is explained by the expansive definition of the sector used in the former (Sibal 2007). Malnutrition prevalence among children under five years of age is 20 per cent in Indonesia and 21 per cent in the Philippines. Similarly, the infant mortality rate in Indonesia is 31 per 1,000 live births and 21 in the Philippines. Given the development similarities between the two countries, differences in social protection programmes in both are expected to generate useful insights into their functioning.

This paper examines the social protection arrangements in Indonesia and the Philippines for the purpose of assessing their performance in protecting the population without unduly straining the public purse. It will focus particularly on programmes for the poor, aged and the sick. This comparative review indicates that although social protection has improved tremendously in Indonesia and the Philippines in terms of the quality of programmes and the level of protection they offer, much remains to do be done if the population is to receive the protection it deserves. The income maintenance needs of those working in the informal sector, during working life as well as retirement, require particular attention. II. II.

II. Indonesia

The emergence of social protection in Indonesia was stunted by nearly 150 years of Dutch rule and two decades of political upheaval after independence. The social protection programmes that existed during colonial rule were targeted at public sector workers and this arrangement continued after independence, except for the establishment of programmes for employees of large firms during the 1970s. This situation remained unaltered until the 1997-98 Asian Financial Crisis (AFC), which shook up the existing political-economic order and forced the government to rethink its development strategy. After some hesitation and considerable confusion, the country launched an ambitious programme to extend social protection in 1998 that continues to this date (ILO 2012). The process was supported by technical and financial assistance from international donor agencies and facilitated by the broader democratization process that was unleashed after the ouster of the Suharto regime.

The logic of democratic elections after the fall of Suharto meant that governments could no longer neglect the general population's need for social protection, as had been the case during colonial and dictatorial rules. Democratization was accompanied by political and administrative decentralization, which has played a contradictory role in the evolution of social protection (Saich et al. 2010). On the one hand, it has raised the population's expectations from their governments and scrutiny of their policies and programmes. But, on the other hand, a large number of local governments have neither the financial nor technical resources nor even the will to implement effective social protection programmes. One of the visible deleterious effects of decentralization in Indonesia is that even basic national-level data for social protection is no longer available.

Social protection programmes in Indonesia can be divided into three categories based on their target population: public sector workers (including the armed forces), formal private sector workers, and the rest of the population. The public sector programmes are for the most part based on an insurance principle; private sector programmes are based on compulsory savings, and programmes for the rest of the population are funded heavily by government budgets.

II.2 Programmes for the Public Sector

Under Law 11/1969, all public sector workers at all levels of government are compulsorily covered by pension and healthcare schemes managed by PT TASPEN. The armed forces and police have a similar scheme managed by ASABRI. The two are pay-as-you-go (PAYG) schemes to which employees contribute about 4.75 per cent of their monthly salary. The schemes offer a defined benefit pension plan for life after retirement, typically at fifty-five years of age. The replacement rate is estimated to be about 100 per cent of final "pensionable wage" (but only 25-35 per cent of final actual wage) after thirty-five years of service (Guerard 2012). Since the contributions are grossly insufficient to cover the generous benefits, the government injects huge amounts from its current budget, amounting to Rp51 trillion or around 0.7 per cent of GDP in 2011 (Satriana, Schmitt and Muhamad 2012). The unfunded pension liability will impose an enormous and increasing burden on the government for decades to come as increasingly large numbers of civil servants retire.

Public sector workers, current and retired, and their dependants are also covered by compulsory health insurance, which was established in 1991 and managed by ASKES. Members contribute 2 per cent of their salary to the programme and the government matches their contribution. In 2010, membership formed 7 per cent of the population (Satriana, Schmitt and Muhamad 2012). In January 2014, ASKES was brought under BPJS Kesehatan (BPJS I), which is a new programme intended to provide health insurance to the entire population.

II.2 Programmes for Private Sector Workers

Social protection for private sector workers came with the establishment of a mandatory retirement programme, JAMSOSTEK, in 1977. While the programme is compulsory for all workers in private firms, in reality it covers only 44 per cent of targeted workers and 5 per cent of the total population due to widespread evasion and weak enforcement (Guerard 2012). It is a provident fund scheme to which employees contribute 2 per cent of their monthly salary while employers contribute 3.7 per cent. Accumulated funds plus earnings may be withdrawn at the age of fifty-five. However, only 10 per cent of JAMSOSTEK members receive any pension benefit while a vast majority receives nothing (Guerard 2012). Indeed it is doubtful if JAMSOSTEK should be counted as a pension programme given the small benefit it provides to so few people.

JAMSOSTEK plays a somewhat more important role as a health insurance programme for the private sector workers it covers. Members contribute 6 per cent of their salary to cover themselves and dependants. JAMSOSTEK's health insurance programme (JPK) covered 6 per cent of formal sector workers or 2 per cent of the total workforce in 2010. Similar to ASKES, the scheme will be merged with BPJS I in 2014.

Under Law 13/2003, all private sector workers are eligible for a mandatory termination allowance at the end of (each) employment. Voluntary Occupational Private Pension has been available to private sector workers since 1992. ASKESOS is another programme intended to supplement the incomes of informal workers. It is a voluntary social insurance scheme that requires modest contribution and provides small benefits. Unsurprisingly, it covered only 358,000 members in 2011 (Satriana, Schmitt and Muhamad 2012). These programmes play an insignificant role in providing effective social protection due to inherent design limitations and will not be discussed in this paper.

II.3 Programmes for the Poor

After months of wavering after the eruption of the AFC, the Indonesian government announced the Jaringan Pengaman Sosial (Social Safety Net, or SSN) programmes in mid-1998 providing a raft of emergency assistance to the affected population (Setiawan 2000). Subsequently, the government replaced the general subsidy for rice with a new scheme (OPK), which subsidized only the lower quality rice that the poor were likely to buy. The government also launched a labour-intensive public works programme (Padat Karya), which created employment for 400,000 people at the cost of nearly Rp10 trillion (World Bank 2000). Furthermore, it launched community development programmes, providing grants and revolving credit to the poor and unemployed. To maintain access to critical public services, the government spent almost a trillion rupiah on schools and a school lunch programme in 1998-99 (Blomquist et al. 2001). Grants were also given to village health centres to provide critical health services and nutritional support for mothers and infants.

By 1999, economic conditions had stabilized and the social impacts of the crisis had begun to abate, an outcome attributed to the SSN programmes established in the preceding year. The positive experience with SSN fostered efforts to solidify the gains by enshrining it in the Constitution. This was achieved when a constitutional amendment guaranteeing social security to the entire population was adopted in 2002. Two years later, the Sistem Jaminan Sosial Nasional or SJSN (National Social Security System) law was enacted, providing for five separate programmes covering the entire population: (1) pensions, (2) old-age savings, (3) health insurance, (4) employment injury, and (5) death benefit. The law promises the same level of social protection to the entire population. There are different contribution structures for formal and informal sector workers, with the government contributing the eligible poor members' share.

The most drastic expansion of social protection took place in March and October 2005 when the government compensated for its deep reduction in fuel subsidies with a major expansion of health, education, and cash transfer programmes. With their launch, Indonesia had the following major programmes for the poor:

* Subsidized rice for the poor (Beras Miskin, or RASKIN).

* Unconditional cash transfer programme (Bantuan Langsung Tunai, or BLT).

* Health insurance for the poor (ASKESKIN, later renamed Jaminan Kesehatan Masyarakat, or JAMKESMAS).

* Conditional cash transfer programme (Program Keluarga Harapan, or PKH).

RASKIN is rooted in the erstwhile OPK (rice subsidy) programme, which was launched in 1998 to cope with rising food prices by providing subsidized rice. In 2002, the programme was revamped and efforts were made to direct the rice only to the poor, but efforts were undermined by lack of data identifying the poor. Thus, in 2003, only 18 per cent of RASKIN expenditures benefited poor households, whereas 52 per cent was availed by non-poor households and 30 per cent was spent on administration. At the same time, the programme suffered from fewer exclusion errors than other more targeted programmes. Thus, 77 per cent of poor households reported receiving benefits in 2009, which was vastly higher than the rate for other programmes (Weatherley 2008). The government continues to refine the programme and now uses a better database to identify the poor.

Recognizing the limits of private healthcare financing during the 1997-98 crisis, the government tried out small-scale public programmes before launching ASKESKIN/JAMKESMAS in 2004 which has grown to cover more than 76 million beneficiaries (32 per cent of population) in 2012. Most local governments have their own programme called JAMKESDA for the very poor not covered by the national programme, which covers an additional 13.5 per cent of the population (ILO n.d. (a)). JAMKESMAS is a means-tested health financing programme, the cost of which is borne entirely by the central government. The scheme provides free inpatient and outpatient care at public health facilities and in third-class wards of public or private hospitals. Total utilization of services is estimated to have increased by 50 per cent for ambulatory care and by about 106 per cent for inpatient care since its launch, and there is evidence of greater equity in the utilization of healthcare (Center for Health Market Innovations n.d.).

As of January 2014, all health financing schemes (JAMKESMAS, JAMKESDA, JAMSOSTEK and ASKES) are administered by a newly established body, called BPJS Kesehatan. Formal sector workers and their employers will make contributions as a percentage of wages; informal sector workers will contribute a flat amount, while the national government will contribute a fixed amount on behalf of the poor. The programme will initially cover 96 million people but will gradually expand to cover the entire population by 2019. For the expanded JAMKESMAS programme, which is available to the 40 per cent of the population officially designated as poor or near-poor, the government has earmarked Rp8.3 trillion (US$8.6 billion) in 2013, up from Rp7.38 trillion in 2012. JAMKESMAS members will be able to access services at 1,000 hospitals across the country, almost half of which are private (Faizal 2013). The merging of different health insurance schemes under BPJS implicitly acknowledges the limitations of the decentralized delivery of social protection and indicates a shift towards centralization.

BLT is an unconditional cash transfer programme that was established as a temporary one-year programme in 2005 and again in 2009, in the aftermath of increases in fuel prices. The programme provided Rp 100,000 per month for one year to approximately 19 million households forming 34 per cent of the population. Surveys showed that although BLT recipients were poorer than non-recipients, half of the lowest quintile did not receive any benefits, whereas more than one-third of all recipients were in the top three income quintiles. Programme evaluations have shown that BLT contributed to poverty alleviation in the short run but was insufficient to smooth out the income volatility of poor households, who tend to slide in and out of poverty (ILO n.d. (a)).

RASKIN, BLT and JAMKESMAS target the same population group--the poor and near-poor living on incomes of less than 1.2 times the poverty line--and are the largest in terms of population coverage and expenditure. In 2008, BLT accounted for 40 per cent of total social safety net expenditures, RASKIN accounted for 34 per cent, and JAMKESMAS accounted for 13 per cent (World Bank 2009b, cited in Sumarto and Bazzi 2011). In terms of population coverage, 52 per cent of all Indonesian households received RASKIN benefits, 27 per cent received BLT benefits, and 28 per cent received JAMKESMAS health cards (Alatas, Pumamasari and Wai-Poi 2012, cited in Sumarto and Bazzi 2011).

In 2007, the government launched a CCT programme called Program Keluarga Harapan (PKH) or Hopeful Family Program. It was initially launched as a pilot programme in seven provinces with plans to cover 6.5 million households by 2015. The government has indicated that CCT will form the basis for further expansion of the social safety net system in Indonesia. PKH benefits are targeted at poor households with pregnant women or children up to fifteen years old. Benefits range from Rp600,000 to Rp2.2 million annually, depending on the number of children in the household. The average transfer per family is Rpl.4 million, equivalent to 27 per cent of the national poverty line. Receipt of benefits is conditional on regular school attendance by children aged six to fifteen years, and mothers and their children availing themselves of specified healthcare. Early evaluations show that PKH has had a positive effect on child and maternal health and education, especially in areas with strong infrastructure for provision of public services (Sumarto and Bazzi 2011).

The government is considering the establishment of an employment creation programme. Although the proposal is still in the preliminary consideration stage, Indonesia has a positive experience with the public employment creation programme (Padat Karya), established in 1998 amidst the AFC. Initially, Padat Karya concentrated on small infrastructure projects in rural areas, and the objective was to quickly create employment and bolster income in rural areas. As time passed, the programme required finer targeting, systematic project selection, greater transparency, and more-stringent accountability. However, these additional conditions are believed to have significantly reduced the programme's income support potential (Curtain 1999). Public works also featured prominently in the fiscal stimulus package worth Rp3.3 trillion (US$8.1 billion or 1.4 per cent of Indonesia's GDP) that the government launched in February 2009. Such projects are estimated to have generated 287,060 jobs, of which 29 per cent was in crops farming and 9 per cent in road construction (Adioetomo, Pardede and Quarina 2012).

There is still no meaningful programne for non-poor workers in the informal sector, who account for around two-thirds of the workforce and have access to only small and scattered schemes. This undesirable state of affairs will continue until the SJSN (National Social Security System) law is implemented. After years of protracted discussion, the government recently enacted the Social Security Provider Law and has proposed an implementation roadmap for the health social security provider (BPJS Kesehatan) and the workers' social security provider (SPJS Ketenagakerjaan). However, many vital details of the programme remain to be worked out. Even after years of discussion, there is no agreement on contribution rates, sources of funding, and premium collection mechanisms for informal sector workers.

III. The Philippines

The Philippines was one of the first countries in Asia to establish formal social protection programmes, but it fell behind during the 1960s and it was not until four decades later that it restarted the process. The Marcos regime depended on the army, civil service and landlords for support and did little to meet the social protection needs of the population (Ramesh and Asher 2000). The governments succeeding Marcos also paid little attention to social protection, given their preoccupation with restoring democracy and reforming the economy. The decentralization of the governance structure in 1991 also delayed the process by shifting the responsibility for social protection to local governments for which they were ill-prepared. That the Philippines was spared the worst of the AFC, unlike Indonesia, also delayed the expansion of social protection. The turning point came in the mid-2000s, when the government reformed existing programmes and established new ones for a variety of political reasons. This was a time when the economy was doing relatively well but the social development indicators were stagnant or sliding, galvanizing the government to rethink its development strategy focussed on reforming the economy. Aided by improved fiscal conditions and financial support and technical advice from international donor agencies, the Arroyo government took measures to expand health insurance and launch conditional cash transfer programmes that now form the main pillars of the social protection system. But the legacy of the privileged position of the formally employed, especially those working in the public sector, continues. The programmes for public and private sector workers offer considerably more benefits than those for the poor. 111

III.1 Programmes for the Public Sector

The Philippines has had social insurance schemes (pensions and healthcare) for public sector workers, managed by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) since 1936. GSIS compulsorily covers all government employees--elected and appointed, full- and part-time, permanent and casual--including public school teachers. The programme covers 4 per cent of the workface and is currently paying pensions to about 1 per cent of the elderly population (sixty years or older) (Reyes 2012). It is funded by a total contribution of 21 per cent of wages, with the employer (i.e., the government) contributing 12 per cent and the employee 9 per cent. Members are eligible for benefits after at least fifteen years of service at the age of sixty-five years. The GSIS is estimated to replace 88 per cent of final income, regardless of final income due to the absence of an income ceiling for the purpose of determining retirement benefits (Reyes 2012).

The government also provides health insurance to all GSIS and Social Security System members through the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP, launched in 1995), which is administered by PhilHealth, a government agency. NHIP is a mandatory health insurance programme for all Filipinos for a monthly contribution of PHP100 per month (Adioetomo et al. 2012).

III.2 Programmes for Private Sector Workers

Private sector workers in the Philippines are mandatorily covered by a defined benefit social insurance scheme managed by the Social Security System (SSS) established in 1957. It provides pension, healthcare, maternity, and death benefits for employees in the formal sector and their dependants. The scheme is funded by a total contribution of 10.4 per cent of the employee's monthly salary, with 7.1 per cent contributed by the employer and 3.3 per cent contributed by the employee. The contributions are insufficient to cover future liabilities and there are plans to raise the contribution rate to 11 per cent of salary divided equally between employer and employee. When implemented, the higher premium will extend the scheme's fund life by seven years. The income ceiling for calculating contribution and benefits is also slated to be raised from PHP 15,000 to PHP20,000, which will raise the income replacement rate for high wage earners (Cantos-Hamper 2012).

SSS pension benefits are significantly progressive: they are estimated to replace 78 per cent of final income for someone on an average salary, 120 per cent for someone on 25 per cent of average salary, and 49 per cent for someone on 300 per cent of average salary (Reyes 2012). The average monthly SSS pension was PHP3,109 in 2008, with PHP1,000 as the lowest pension amount and PHP23,588 as the highest (Cantos-Hamper 2012). In addition to pensions, SSS members are eligible for PhilHealth insurance under conditions similar to their GSIS counterparts.

III.3 Programmes for the Poor

There are fourteen social assistance schemes in the Philippines, of which only a few reach significant numbers of people and offer sufficient benefits to make a noticeable contribution to poverty alleviation. The main programmes in terms of coverage and expenditures are the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, the PhilHealth Sponsored Program, and rice subsidy programmes. Other significant programmes include the Supplementary Feeding Program, which provides lunches to undernourished school children (5,444 in 2010) for 120 days a year (Cantos-Hamper 2012). Similarly, the Food for School programme provides school children (502,163 in 2009) with a daily ration of a kilogram of rice for attending school (Cantos-Hamper 2012). Qualified elderly over the age of seventy (numbering 722,406 in 2009) receive a monthly subsidy of PHP500 under the Para Kay Lolo at Lola programme (Cantos-Hamper 2012).

The National Health Insurance Program, administered by PhilHealth, launched the Sponsored Program in 1997 to provide health insurance to households falling within the bottom income quartile. After a slow start, 67 per cent of poor households had been insured under the Sponsored Program by 2008. However, enrolment errors are widespread, due to the lack of accurate poverty data and political meddling. As a result, it is estimated that at least 49 per cent of poor households remain uncovered (Manasan 2009). The premium for the Sponsored Program is set at PHP1,200, which is paid jointly by national, provincial and municipal governments. The scheme provides both inpatient and outpatient care to the insured at approved facilities. However, there is an insurance payment ceiling, leaving members to pay the remainder out of pocket. As a result, it is estimated that the total value of insurance payments forms only 50 per cent of hospitalization expenditures, which discourages utilization by the poor despite insurance coverage. This is confirmed by the fact that although sponsored members form 24 per cent of total PhilHealth membership, they receive only 15 per cent of the benefits (Manasan 2009).

Rice has been heavily subsidized in the Philippines since the early 1970s. It is an indirect subsidy scheme whereby the National Food Authority (NFA) purchases rice at market price and sells it at reduced prices of up to 25 per cent (Santolan 2010). In the past, it was available to anyone who purchased NFA rice, but eligibility has been gradually tightened and is now available only to families living on a monthly income below PHP5,000. The transfer of implementation responsibility from NFA to the Department of Social Welfare in 2011 affirmed its transformation from agricultural to social welfare programme. The amount spent on the programme has fluctuated considerably over the years, depending on market conditions. Subsidies amounted to 0.1 per cent of GDP in 2007 but rose to 0.6 per cent in 2008, when rice prices were high.

In 2003, the government relaunched the Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Service (originally launched in 1994) under the name Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan (KALAHICIDSS). This community development and empowerment programme focuses on a range of family, community, and infrastructure projects in forty provinces with high levels of poverty. The majority of funding for the programme comes from World Bank loans. By 2008, the programme had funded 4,364 projects worth PHP4.8 billion and benefited 865,569 households. A mid-term review revealed that the programme generated an average internal return of 21 per cent, with the level of returns varying substantially across the type of project (Manasan 2009).

Significant improvements in the social safety net system occurred in the final years of the Arroyo administration, partly triggered by emerging data showing that social development stalled during her rule. The government launched the Food for School programme in 2005 and the Help for the Elderly programme in 2008. The largest expansion of social safety net system took place with the gradual launch of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4P) in 2007. When the Aquino government took office in 2010, it not only retained the scheme but further expanded it. In 2013, the 4P covered 3.9 million households representing 85 per cent of the 4.6 million households identified as poor (Formoso 2012).

4P is targeted at poor households living in the poorest municipalities with children up to fourteen years old and/or a pregnant woman. It provides cash grants of PHP500 per month per household for health and nutrition expenses and PHP300 per month per child for education expenses for up to three children per household. Thus a household with three qualified children receives an allowance of PHP15,00 annually for a maximum of five years subject to meeting specified conditions. According to one estimate, 4P benefits increased the average per capita income of beneficiaries by 29 per cent (Manasan 2009). Although it is still too early to draw conclusions about 4P's impact, estimates reveal positive results for school attendance, immunization, pre-natal visits, and poverty alleviation (Formoso 2012).

The Philippines also has a range of labour market programmes: TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority), the Special Program for Employment of Students, Sagip Batang Manggagawa (Save Child Workers), the DOLE Integrated Livelihood programme and private education student financial assistance, among others However, these programmes focus more on skills training rather than income maintenance, except for the Save Child Workers programme, which is intended to help child workers.

IV. Achievements and Limitations: Discussion

IV.I Indonesia

Like most other countries, Indonesia began with social protection only for public sector workers and employees of large enterprises and it was only recently that meaningful protection became available to other population segments, except for non-poor informal workers who continue to remain excluded. While the essential features of programmes for the general population are reasonably well designed, they are patchy, inadequately coordinated and insufficiently funded. In addition, programmes for public sector workers are inequitable and financially unsustainable.

Notwithstanding the tremendous expansion of social protection since the onset of the AFC, the vast majority of the Indonesian population remains unprotected. Only about 12 per cent of the Indonesian workforce is entitled to a pension and/ or old-age benefits and about half the population is entitled to healthcare. Moreover, the distribution of the covered population is highly skewed: pension benefits are available to 100 per cent of civil servants and to 44 per cent of formal private sector workers but there is no significant programme for those informally employed (Guerard 2012). Indeed the situation of Indonesians, apart from civil servants, is worse than coverage figures suggest. Less than 10 per cent of JAMSOSTEK members receive any benefits at retirement. For those receiving the JAMSOSTEK pay-out, the benefit is largely irrelevant as a pension because the amount is small and is paid in one lump sum (Guerard 2012).

Indonesia spent 1.14 per cent of GDP on social protection in 2009--a year when social protection expenditure was somewhat higher due to the Global Financial Crisis (GFC)--but most of it was spent on (in rank order): TASPEN (pension and healthcare scheme for public sector workers); ASKES (compulsory health insurance for public sector workers); ASABRI (healthcare and pension scheme for police and armed forces); and RASKIN (rice subsidies) (Adioetomo et al. 2012). Of Indonesia's total social protection expenditure (Rp65.8 trillion in 2009), 32 per cent was spent on social insurance, 64 per cent on means-tested social assistance programmes and the rest was spent on miscellaneous labour market programmes. Of the total spending on social insurance, pensions for public sector workers accounted for 47 per cent, JAMSOSTEK withdrawals accounted for 28 per cent, and health insurance (covering both public and private sector workers) accounted for 20 per cent (Adioetomo et al. 2012).

Programmes for the poor in Indonesia are a heterogeneous category that includes many programmes not specifically associated with poverty. Thus, about 45 per cent of social assistance spending is in the form of operational grants to schools (Adioetomo et al. 2012). These grants are followed by RASKIN and JAMKESMAS, which respectively constitute 31 per cent and 11 per cent of total social assistance expenditure. 5.7 per cent was spent on scholarships for children attending general and madrasah schools while the CCT-type Program Keluarga Harapan received a paltry 3.6 per cent. In terms of the number of beneficiaries, the programmes assisting 43.5 million children in school (MONE and MORA) are the largest ones. The next largest programme in terms of coverage is JAMKESMAS, which provides healthcare to 32.5 million poor and near-poor, followed by RASKIN, which provides rice to 18.5 million people (Adioetomo et al. 2012).

The generous pension scheme available to public sector workers is not only inequitable; it is also expensive. The government allocates close to 5 per cent of the central government's budget to finance social security programmes for civil servants, a share that is increasing every year (ADB 2007). While the magnitude of the impending strains this will impose in the future has been known for a long time, no serious attempt has been made to address the problem. Workers in the private sector, on the other hand, suffer from a different problem. Private sector employers contribute between 21 and 27 per cent of the total wage costs on different social security programmes but the workers receive little benefit in return (ADB 2007) due to the programmes' poor design. Not only are the JAMSOSTEK withdrawal amounts, at the point of retirement, small; they are paid in one lump sum that is consumed early and therefore does not provide financial security in retirement.

The public institutions managing social protection programmes in Indonesia--TASPEN, ASABRI, ASKES and especially JAMSOSTEK --encounter problems in almost all operational areas, "including poor compliance; expensive and ineffective administration; poor governance structure lacking transparency, accountability, and focus on members' interests; complex and ineffective supervisory structure; and poor member service" (ADB 2007). For instance, and as was mentioned above, JAMSOSTEK is compulsory for all formal private sector workers but in reality it covers only 44 per cent of the target population (Guerard 2012). The protracted controversies and conflicts over the establishment of the agencies for managing health insurance (BPJS Kesehatan) and workers' insurance (SPJS Ketenagakerjaan) has set them on a rocky start indeed.

Data limitations severely hamper the implementation of programmes targeting different segments of the population. The government is aware of the problems and efforts are ongoing to establish a unified database for potential beneficiaries. The new Pendataan Program Perlindungan Sosial (PPLS) 2011 dataset managed by the Team for the Acceleration of Poverty Reduction (TNP2K), available since 2012, contains detailed information on the four bottom income deciles of the population and is designed to assist in identifying poor and near-poor households. It remains to be seen whether the database is detailed enough to be used by all social programmes and whether the frequency of updates will capture the dynamics of socio-economic conditions in Indonesia.

Many programmes are meant to complement one another in assisting the beneficiaries but coordination among them has been a major challenge. For instance, JAMKESDA and JAMKESMAS have the same target population but employ entirely different databases for identifying beneficiaries. Similarly, BSM and PKH programmes are both cash transfer programmes with similar target recipients but are managed separately and employ different targeting methods. The problem is compounded by a lack of vertical coordination between different levels of government as the central, provincial, and local governments are often unsure about their respective responsibilities in delivering programmes (ILO 2012).

Calculations for the 2012 Social Protection Index show that social protection programmes in Indonesia reach 65 per cent of their intended beneficiaries. However, the amount of benefits they provide is very small. The average per capita social protection expenditure is about 4.4 per cent of the poverty line (set at 25 per cent of GDP per capita). Per capita expenditures on social assistance on average are about 2.8 per cent of the poverty line while per capita expenditures on social insurance are 1.4 per cent of the poverty line (Adioetomo et al. 2012). Disaggregation of the data shows that social protection benefits are skewed towards men and the non-poor, due to the fact that they are more likely to be employed in sectors with higher benefits.

The level of social protection currently available may not be sufficient for major contingencies, such as another economic crisis. While the poverty rate is currently at a historically low point, 43.3 per cent of the population lives in or on the brink of poverty, with incomes below PPP US$2 per day. Remarkably, a large share of the population experiences intermittent bouts of poverty. A 2004 survey showed that 38 per cent of poor households in the study were not poor in the preceding year (ILO 2012), highlighting the precarious conditions surrounding informal sector workers and the need to strengthen social protection for them. IV. IV.

IV.2 The Philippines

While the implementation of social protection in the Philippines shares many similarities with Indonesia, it also exhibits significant differences. Total social protection expenditure in the Philippines amounted to about 2.5 per cent of GDP in 2009, which is twice the level in Indonesia. There were about 25 million beneficiaries of social protection programmes in the Philippines in 2009, of which 15 million (14 per cent of the target population) were covered by social assistance programmes and another 7 million (6 per cent of the target population) by social insurance. In terms of spending, social insurance programmes comprised about 80 per cent of total spending, social assistance programmes comprised about 13 per cent, and the rest was spent on miscellaneous labour market programmes. At 45 per cent of total social insurance expenditure, pensions offered by GSIS and SSS represent the largest social insurance programmes in terms of total spending, followed by maternity and other benefits for SSS members (20 per cent). The next largest insurance expense is health insurance for GSIS and SSS members (8 per cent) followed by sponsored health insurance programmes (6 per cent). Of the total spending on social assistance, 34 per cent was spent on preschool and school children, 24 per cent on the 4P, and 13 per cent on rice subsidies.

The social assistance programmes suffer from significant implementation lapses, and the insurance programmes are fiscally unsustainable in the long run. PhilHealth is meant to be compulsory for all Filipino citizens, but in reality active members formed only 76 per cent of the population in 2008 due to weak implementation (Cantos-Hamper 2012). The insurance scheme is estimated to pay for only 50 per cent of the costs incurred by the insured, placing a significant burden on the poor. Compared to the small benefits offered by social assistance programmes, the pension benefits offered by the GSIS and SSS are overly generous, imposing vast unfunded liabilities on the government in the future. Unless they are reformed, SSS is projected to go into deficit in 2031 while GSIS will meet the same fate in 2055 (Reyes 2012).

Social protection programmes are marked by severe inequalities, both between and within social insurance and social assistance programmes. Social assistance programmes on average offer benefits amounting to only 8 per cent of the poverty line while social insurance programmes offer benefits that are 105 per cent of the poverty line (Cantos-Hamper 2012). GSIS requires a contribution rate of 21 per cent of income while SSS requires 10.4 per cent. The unequal contribution rates are reflected in unequal benefits, exacerbated by the fact that SSS has a strict income ceiling while GSIS has no ceiling for calculating contributions or benefits. Be that as it may, the income replacement rate of approximately 78 per cent offered by both GSIS and SSS is vastly higher than the international best practice of 40-50 per cent (Reyes 2012). In contrast, there are almost no benefits for the aged who worked in the informal sector during their working lives.

Calculations by the ADB (Cantos-Hamper 2012) show that the Philippines' average per capita spending on all social spending was 2.1 per cent of per capita GDP in 2009. On average, about 23 per cent of the potential social protection beneficiaries received eligible benefits in 2009. The benefit amount received by the non-poor was three times as much as the amount received by the poor. This is a reflection of the fact that better benefits are available under social insurance programmes, which are available for the most part only to the formally employed who tend to be non-poor.

The lack of coherence and coordination among social protection programmes is a major problem in the Philippines. During the 1990s and early 2000s, an array of small and ill-designed programmes was established. These programmes still exist today and coordination among them remains difficult. The various programmes scattered across agencies work in isolation from the other programmes with which they are meant to work. Even newer programmes suffer from coordination problems. The provision of conditional cash transfers by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), for instance, needs to be accompanied by improvements in education and health facilities in poorer areas, but the necessary level of coordination does not exist.

At the root of many shortcomings of social protection programmes in the Philippines lies the lack of financial and administrative capacity of local governments. They are unable to carry out their functions due to a mismatch of their responsibilities with the options available to them for raising revenues. The local governments' share of national taxes is equivalent to only about 3 per cent of the total cost of the functions devolved to them (Manasan and Chatterjee 2003, p. 372). Furthermore, while provinces, municipalities, cities and barangays have been given 45.6 per cent, 47.4 per cent, 7 per cent and 0 per cent of devolved functions (in terms of costs) respectively, provinces and cities each receive only 23 per cent of the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA); municipalities receive 34 per cent, and barangays get 20 per cent. This highlights the extent of the mismatch between responsibilities and funding (Manasan and Chatterjee 2003, p. 373). There are also vast inter-regional disparities in the local governments' capacity to raise revenues. In 2000, for instance, close to 72 per cent of all local governments' tax revenues were distributed to just four regions --Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, and Central Visayas--while others received little. The fiscal disparities merely reflect underlying economic disparities across regions in the Philippines and the problem is likely to worsen over time without inter-regional transfers. There is little evidence that the situation is improving. The establishment of the 4P was accompanied by a substantial increase in funding for DSWD, but not for the local governments, which have the primary responsibility of supplying the necessary education and health services for the programme (Solidar Global Network 2010).

V. Conclusion

After decades of offering social protection to only workers in the public sector or those employed in large firms, it was only recently that Indonesia and the Philippines started offering protection to the rest of their populations. Dictatorial rule in both countries meant that the governments needed the support of the military and civil servants more than that of the general population, and this was reflected in the generous programmes designed for the former. The AFC laid bare the weaknesses of the existing arrangements. The spread of democracy and the broader shifts in thinking on development in the ensuing years formed a conducive environment for expanding social protection. Indonesia now has a broad set of social protection programmes offering price subsidies for rice (RASKIN), conditional cash transfers (PKH), and free healthcare (JAMKESMAS) to poor households. The Philippines began establishing workable social protection programmes for the poor in the mid-2000s, after years of making promises and half-hearted attempts. At the centre of its recent reforms is the 4P, a conditional cash transfer programme, and the expansion of healthcare insurance programmes.

However, per capita spending on social protection remains very low in both countries, but this is especially the case in Indonesia. The average per capita spending on social protection amounts to 1.1 per cent of GDP per capita in Indonesia compared to 2.1 per cent in the Philippines. However, a larger share of social protection funds is spent on the poor in Indonesia than in the Philippines. In the Philippines, the breadth and depth of social protection offered by social insurance (which is available largely to formal sector workers) is on average six times higher than what is offered by social assistance (which is available largely to the poor). The opposite holds true in Indonesia (see Table 1). As a consequence, the social protection system in the Philippines is far less egalitarian than the Indonesian system.

However, vital gaps remain in the social protection systems of both countries. The most noticeable shortcomings are the absence of unconditional cash transfer programmes for the poor (especially the aged poor) and public works for the unemployed. Both countries have done more in healthcare, but Indonesia has made more progress than the Philippines in this area despite its later start. The plight of the aged from the informal sector is acute in both countries, although all private sector workers in Indonesia find themselves in a similarly precarious position. The lack of income support for the elderly, who are not covered by social insurance schemes, will become more problematic over time as the total number and share of elderly in the general population increases. There is therefore a compelling case to be made for unconditional cash transfer programmes for those currently unprotected such as the aged or disabled poor.

Transient poverty, which particularly affects informal workers, also requires attention in both countries because their needs are inadequately addressed by assistance programmes designed for the chronic poor or contributory programmes centred on formal employment. The share of the population falling in this category is large in Indonesia and the Philippines and comprises more than two-thirds of the workforce. Yet in neither country is there a substantial programme designed specifically for them. Public works programmes are well suited for those vulnerable to recurring unemployment because they keep affected workers in the labour market while providing income support, in addition to creating long-term public assets for the community.

However, targeted cash transfer programmes (conditional and/or unconditional) for the chronic poor and public works programmes for the transient poor require immense policy capacity on the part of governments. The capacity to collect and maintain information identifying the poor is an essential prerequisite for effectively implementing targeted programmes, a capacity that is still lacking in Indonesia and the Philippines despite substantial progress in recent years. Similarly, CCT programmes are unlikely to succeed in contexts where educational and healthcare facilities are inadequate and absenteeism among public sector workers is rampant. Public works programmes are similarly difficult to implement due to the technical challenges of selecting and designing worthwhile projects, setting appropriate wages and keeping corruption in check. The political and technical difficulties Indonesia has faced in implementing the National Social Security System law and its inability to address the problems plaguing pension schemes for public sector workers cast doubts on its capacity to meet the governance challenges involved in operating modern social protection systems.

DOI: 10.1355/ae31-1c

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M Ramesh is Professor of Social Policy at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.
Social Protection Profile


                                                            All Social
                          Social      Social                Protection
                          Insurance   Assistance   Others   Programmes

Total social protection
Expenditure (Bln. NCU)    21,027      42,437       2,386    65,850
Beneficiaries (000)       56,388      100,857      2,646    159,891
  Population (000)        123,296     96,373       26,218   245,887
Average social            0.4         0.7          0.1      1.1
protection benefits as
  per cent of GDP
  per capita
Social Protection
  Index                   0.014       0.028        0.002    0.044


                                                            All Social
                          Social      Social                Protection
                          Insurance   Assistance   Others   Programmes

Total social protection
Expenditure (Bln. NCU)    154         26           12       197
Beneficiaries (000)       7,008       15,050       2,980    25,038
  Population (000)        40,779      57,494       10,300   108,573
Average social            1.7         0.3          0.1      2.1
benefits as
  per cent of GDP
  per capita
Social Protection
  Index                   0.068       0.011        0.005    0.085

Source: Adapted from Adioetomo Pardede and Quarina (2012)
and Cantos-Hamper (2012).
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Author:Ramesh, M.
Publication:Journal of Southeast Asian Economies
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9INDO
Date:Apr 1, 2014
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