Project Year



Southeast Asia



Project Description

This study hopes to describe and compare how conditional cash transfer (CCT) grants are disbursed to Indigenous People (IP) beneficiaries in Palawan, Southern Philippines: (1) manually or over-the-counter and (2) through the use of mobile technology such as cash cards/ATMs or GCASH. Moreover, taking into account the differences in distributing cash grants, this study will explore how IP beneficiaries perceive and respond to such uses of financial technology. It will look at the possible socio-cultural changes in their perceptions and behavior towards technology and money, as well as how they consume, save, and utilize the cash grants given to them. This study will use both quantitative and qualitative methods. The former will include a survey of randomly selected IP household beneficiaries divided into two groups based on how their receive their cash grants, over-the-counter or via cash cards or GCASH Remit. This method hopes to compare the consumption pattern and savings behavior between the two groups. Qualitatively, this study will conduct cash mobility mapping exercises and key informant interviews with tribal leaders and other stakeholders in the community. Aside from contributions to the literature on mobile technology, this study hopes to provide technical support to the CCT program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and other safety net programs on how mobile technology can become more effective in better reaching the socially and financially excluded.


Anatoly Gusto, Emily Roque

About the Researcher(s)

Anatoly “Jing” Gusto leads MICRA Philippines’ Research and Innovations Unit whose current agenda focuses on innovation in financial inclusion, particularly through the application of information and communications technology (ICT) and product development/diversification for the microfinance industry in various fields such as branchless banking, microinsurance, housing microfinance, and agriculture. Jing spearheads the organization's efforts in implementing research-related activities and translating learnings into systematic practice of innovation. Before joining MICRA, he was a microfinance and mobile phone banking specialist of the USAID-funded MABS Program where he focused on market research and product development. He also has extensive experience in program development, implementation and monitoring of gender advocacy projects as well as capital market regulation having worked at the Philippine National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), respectively. Jing graduated cum laude from the University of the Philippines with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics and had microfinance training from the Boulder Institute of Microfinance in Turin, Italy.

Emily B. Roque is currently a lecturer at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology in Ateneo de Manila University. She finished her Masters in Sociology and AB Social Sciences with a minor in Development Management at the Ateneo de Manila University. She has conducted research on topics such as street homelessness, microfinance, social development, urban poverty, and community-based heritage tourism. She has also done consultancy work with MICRA Philippines, the Institute of Philippine Culture (IPC), and the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) and has worked as Program Associate in the Team Energy Center for Bridging Leadership of the Asian Institute of Management (AIM).

Synopsis of Research Results

1. Link to their blog post: Can Social Transfers Boost Electronic Payment Adoption and Financial Inclusion? Lessons from Palawan, Philippines.

2. Link to their final report: "Delivering Cash Grants to Indigenous Peoples through Cash Cards versus Over-the-Counter Modalities:  The Case of the 4Ps Conditional Cash Transfer Program in Palawan, Philippines"

3. Link to Jing's other project and his blog: One Lunar New Year resolution every financial regulator and mobile payment. platform should have


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