Poverty targeting : money attitudes and behaviours of women in the Philippine "Gawad Kalinga" (GK - Give Care) communities : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Public Policy at Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand
The reduction of high poverty incidence in the Philippines is a major governance objective.
Poverty targeting is a strategy to identify the factors that will help the poor raise themselves
from poverty. The money attitudes and behaviours of the women of the Philippine “Gawad
Kalinga” showed aspects of their financial consciousness and awareness that requires,
individual control and discipline, community support and policy intervention.
The money attitudes and behaviours of the women in the visited communities were looked
into to unveil the impact on poverty. The main research question is whether money attitudes
and behaviours are poverty traps. The individual money capabilities were correlated to the
workings and failures of the market and the institutions which are interconnected in the
The research method was qualitative in nature. It was based on the interviews of 30
individuals, women residents and volunteers, of the Philippine “Gawad Kalinga” communities.
The individual anecdotes disclosed opinions, attitudes, beliefs, sentiments, and emotions on
their daily money struggles. The profile of the money attitudes and behaviours of the
interviewees was used to determine the weaknesses that will entrap individuals in poverty.
Gawad Kalinga provides a ‘protective security’ that serves as social safety net to the poor
beneficiaries preventing the residents from being reduced to abject misery. The community
life of the GK residents is a ‘fixed institutional arrangement’ that will serve as their support
system in their daily life. Significant money attitude and behaviour issues of the residents were
identified. The positive attitudes and behaviours on budgeting, savings, credit information and
awareness, financial planning, community participation, and livelihood indicated high potential
for poverty alleviation and achievement of well-being.
The positive and constructive money attitudes and behaviours build ‘trust’ that promotes
creditworthiness and provide opportunities. The negative money attitudes and behaviours
such as multiple borrowings from creditors who charge high interest rates and habitual
gambling will entrap individuals in poverty. The latter indicated individual development needs
for community support and policy intervention.