The Duterte administration has started to disburse some P10.56 billion for some 4.4 million households registered under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in a bid to extend help for them to survive the “adverse economic impact” of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
In a news statement, the DSWD disclosed that it has already released in March the P4.32 billion for the 1.8 million beneficiaries of the unconditional-cash transfer (UCT) for the 4Ps beneficiaries who have cash cards issued by the Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank).
Each family of the 1.8 million household-beneficiaries, the DSWD said, has received P2,400 cash assistance for this year.
The remaining 2.6 million poor families, who are part of the 4.4 million 4Ps beneficiaries, will receive their respective P2,400 UCT assistance for this year starting today (Tuesday) through over-the-counter payment scheme since they have no LandBank cash cards, the DSWD said.
The DSWD launched the over-the-counter mode of payment last week in Binondo, Manila, in cooperation with the LandBank and the Smart-Natco, LandBank’s local conduit.
Thus, starting today (Tuesday), the DSWD will release P6.24 billion to complete the P10.56- billion allotted budget for the UCT grants of the 4.4 million 4Ps beneficiaries.
In the same news release, the department said that “the UCT is the tax subsidy [being] provided [by the Duterte administration as] the [implementation of the] TRAIN law [has started in January so that the national government, through the DSWD, could] help the poor [Filipinos] cushion the adverse economic impact of the [TRAIN] law.”
The DSWD will do its save-the-poor-from-the-TRAIN law project for three years.
Specifically, the UCT financial assistance amounts to P2,400 for each family for the entire year, or equivalent to P200 per month, the DSWD said.
In justifying the additional P2,400 dole out to the poorest of the poor Filipinos, DSWD Officer In Charge Emmanuel A. Leyco said that “[t]he UCT cash grant is a top-up benefit for Pantawid beneficiaries who are also receiving their regular cash grant and P600 rice subsidy from the DSWD.”
“[T]he beneficiaries will receive their UCT grants together with their regular cash grants and rice subsidy for the month of January,” he said.
“We know how important this grant is to poor families. This is why we are working hard to hasten the process of determining the remaining beneficiaries so that they can receive their UCT cash grants. Rest assured that the DSWD is doing its best and is exploring various measures to ensure that all target households and individuals will be able to receive their UCT grants within the year,” Leyco assured.