The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released a total of P6.20 billion to bankroll the first tranche of the Targeted Cash Transfer (TCT) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The TCT will be distributed to six million beneficiaries from the poorest 50 percent of the country’s population, to help them cope with rising prices of fuel and other commodities, the DBM said in a statement Friday.
Specifically, this includes four million households enrolled under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and two million social pension beneficiaries.
The beneficiaries will receive P500 monthly cash subsidies for six months to be distributed in three tranches. This means they will receive P1,000 for the first tranche to be distributed through the cash cards issued by the LandBank of the Philippines, or other approved modes of distribution.
“The DBM will ensure the timely and prudent release of funds, as well as work closely with all implementing agencies to help ease the burden of the vulnerable population most affected by the global crises,” the statement added.
In March, former President Rodrigo Duterte ordered that the monthly cash aid for the poor be increased from P200, which was proposed by his economic managers, to P500 amid inflation concerns.
But up until Duterte’s term ended on Thursday, June 30, the cash assistance remained undistributed.
At the time, the DBM said that financial constraints limited the government’s support to poor households to P500 each month for a maximum of three months.
According to DBM officer-in-charge Rose Marie Canda, the financial assistance will have 13 million beneficiaries and will run for three months, translating to a large amount for an unprogrammed project.
“A large amount is needed to finance an unprogrammed program or project like this, so even if we want to give more, we are unable to do so,” Canda said last March.