THE second tranche of the Targeted Cash Transfer (TCT) program has been released to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for distribution, the Departments of Finance (DoF) and Budget and Management (DBM) said.
The program is intended to address the impact of rising prices on vulnerable households, according to statements issued by both departments.
A Special Allotment Release Order amounting to P4.13 billion was approved on Monday after a request from the DoF, the DBM said.
“The economic team has made sure that we have enough resources to provide targeted assistance to the most vulnerable households and sectors. This Targeted Cash Transfer program, proposed by the previous administration, will be continued by this government as rising fuel prices remain a burden to their daily lives,” Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said in the DoF statement.
The budget allotment for the second tranche will be distributed to over four million beneficiaries identified by the DSWD, with each non-Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) recipient receiving P500 each month for two months.
The DSWD recently published its Listahanan survey, which recognized 5.59 million Filipino families as belonging to the “poorest of the poor.”
This will be the basis for the new list of beneficiaries that will replace the 1.3 million former 4Ps recipients who are now classified as “non-poor” as opposed to “very poor.”
“This is good news, especially for the most vulnerable households, who will be the beneficiaries of the second tranche of the TCT Program. These are our countrymen who are mostly affected by the rising costs of gasoline and other goods. We want them to know and feel that their government is here for them. We are ready to help them,” Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman said.
A BusinessWorld poll of 14 economists last week yielded a median estimate of 6.2% for July headline inflation, against the 6.1% reading in June, which was approaching a four-year high.
Pump prices of diesel, gasoline, and kerosene have risen by P32.95, P18.90, and P28.05, respectively, from the start of the year to July 26, according to the Department of Energy.
In June, the DSWD distributed the first tranche of TCT cash aid to an initial 1.2 million households. The subsidy amounted to P500 per month for six months.
The first tranche of the TCT included those with existing cash cards and registered for the 4Ps, as well as some former recipients of the unconditional cash transfer program between 2018 and 2020.
State-owned Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) is responsible for distributing the cash subsidy through various mediums, including cash cards, other banks, electronic money issuers, and remittance centers.
LANDBANK reported in early July that it had disbursed P3.8 billion in cash aid to 3.8 million households.
On Monday, the DBM also released P8.05 billion worth of subsidies to rice farmers for distribution by the Department of Agriculture in the third and fourth quarters.
The subsidy is targeted at 1.56 million farmers, who will receive P5,000 each. — Diego Gabriel C. Robles