The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has approved the release of P4.13 billion to bankroll a Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) program to distribute P1,000 cash assistance to over 4 million households affected by soaring prices of oil and basic commodities.
In a news statement issued on Tuesday, the budget department said the immediate release of the amount for the second tranche of the Targeted Cash Transfer (TCT) program was requested by the Department of Finance to help mitigate the impact of inflation, especially on most vulnerable households.
Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman greenlighted the release of the Special Allotment Release Order on Monday, August 1. Under the second tranche of TCT program implementation, P500 per month for two months will be released to non-beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) identified by the DSWD.
The TCT program aims to give P500 monthly cash subsidy for six months to be distributed in three tranches.
“This is good news, especially for the most vulnerable households, who will be the beneficiaries of the second tranche of the TCT Program. Sila iyong mga kababayan natin na lubhang naapektuhan ng pagtaas ng gasolina at iba pang bilihin. We want them to know and feel that their government is here for them. We are ready to help them,” Pangandaman said.
“Hangga’t kaya natin, patuloy po nating susuportahan ang mga programa ng pamahalaan na magbibigay-tulong sa ating mga kababayan. Sa kabila po ng pandemya at pagtaas ng presyo ng mga bilihin, patunay po ang ayudang ito na hindi po kayo pinababayaan ng gobyerno sa panahong kayo ay nangangailangan,” Pangandaman added.
For his part, Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said the economic team made sure that the government has enough resources to provide the assistance.
“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,” he said. “The Marcos administration stands ready to support the most vulnerable. We are prepared to implement necessary measures to make sure that they are cushioned from the impact of inflation.”
The country’s inflation rate in June hit 6.1 percent, the highest in over three years. This brought the year-to-date inflation rate to 4.4 percent, beyond the government’s target band of 2 to 4 percent.
The Cabinet-level Development Budget Coordination Committee expects inflation for this year to remain “elevated” as fuel and food prices rose due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and supply chain disruptions. With this, they are expecting inflation this year to reach 4.5 to 5.5 percent.
Last month, the DBM also released P6.2 billion to cover the first tranche of DSWD’s TCT program covering 4 million households enrolled under the 4Ps and another 2 million social pension beneficiaries.