San Fernando, Pampanga—Christmas came in November for 23,000 indigent beneficiaries in Central Luzon who received a total of P552,000 under the Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) of the government over the weekend.
The beneficiaries received each P2,400 representing the P200 a month for the whole year of 2018 and P300 for the next years of 2019 and 2020.
The regional Department of the Social Service Development office in Central Luzon distributed benefits from the government to the marginalized sectors in the seven provinces in the region over the weekend.
Gemma B. Gabuya, DSWD director in Central Luzon, said those who received their financial benefits came from Nueva Ecija, 7,728; Pampanga, 4,389; Tarlac, 3,554; Bataan, 3,618; Zambales,1,973; Bulacan,1,311; and Aurora, 748.
The project is component of the national government Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion to cushion its impact on 10-million people who belong to the poorest sectors of society.
The beneficiaries include 4.4 million under the Pantawid Pamilya program,1.8 million with cash cards, 2.6 million without cash cards, and three million senior citizens under the DSWD social pension program.
The project has a total budget of P24 billion as contained in the national General Appropriations Act of 2018.
Gabuya clarified that the distribution is not related to the coming election or any politicians or candidates in the midterm polls next May.
Local government units are reliable partners in the implementation of the project, Gabuya stressed.
Meanwhile, a group of rebel returnees from Caranglan, Nueva Ecija also received financial assistance from the government through the Enhance Comprehensive Local Integrated Program (E-CLIP) of the government.
Col. Rowen Tolentino, commander of the 703rd Brigade of the Philippine Army, said the seven returning rebels, including two Amazons, received P15,000 up to P65,000 each during a ceremony in Carranglan recently.
Aside from financial assistance from the government, Tolentino said the rebel returnees will also receive educational assistance for their children and training courses for those who want to venture to business.
Giving assistance to the former rebels is one way to entice members of the New People’s Army to return to the fold of the law and live a normal life as an ordinary member of society, he added.
“Live a normal life return to the fold of the law for the sake of your children,” Tolentino urged other rebels who are still in the mountains fighting the government.