The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is finalizing the guidelines to govern the implementation of the Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) Program provided for by the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law .
“We are finalizing the guidelines so that beneficiaries can already receive their cash subsidy and use it for their basic needs. This is the central aim of the UCT- to help poor Filipinos cope with the price increases of some goods and services,” DSWD Officer-in-Charge Emmanuel Leyco said.
UCT provides cash subsidy to 10 million households which is intended to help tide them over amid increasing prices of goods and services which comprise the initial impact of the TRAIN law.
Under the UCT scheme, 10 million beneficiaries will receive P200 a month as the subsidy for 2018, and P300 a month for 2019 and 2020.
OIC Leyco explained that out of the 10 million, 4.4 million are beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya, three million are indigent older persons under the Department’s Social Pension Program while 2.6 million are from the Listahan poverty database of the Department.
The OIC added that DSWD is already preparing the pay-outs of the cash subsidy for the Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries as well the social pension beneficiaries; while validation activities are being undertaken for the 2.6 million poor identified through the DSWD LIstahan or database of the poor.
OIC Leyco expounded that the Department will implement the UCT from 2018-2020 as the law allows the provision of subsidy for three years, “but certainly, the law is subject to amendment if the people think it is not enough and further reforms are needed. In that case, we need to work with the legislators on this.”
Addressing the impact of inflation on the poor as a result of the tax reform, OIC Leyco said, “DSWD is the principal agency of the government tasked to attend to the well-being of our people. The Department is prepared to fulfill this task as we have programs like the Pantawid Pamilya, Sustainable Livelihood Program, and the Assistance for Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS), among others. They may not be enough but, definitely, these are some programs which the people can avail of when they are affected by economic downturns and other disruptions to the economy.” ###