About 7.4 million households nationwide will receive P2,400 each in unconditional cash transfers (UCTs) within the first quarter, the Finance department said on Friday.
The number comprises the 4.4 million existing beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and three million indigent senior citizens already receiving social pensions, the department said in a statement.
Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua said a schedule relayed by the Social Welfare department shows that 4Ps beneficiaries will receive a top-up to existing conditional cash transfers (CCTs) in February if they are getting their benefits via automatic teller machines (ATMs) and in March if they get these over the counter (OTC).
OTC releases involve conduits such as rural banks, cooperatives and non-government organizations (NGOs).
Social pensioners will also start receiving their (UCT) allocations in March this year, Chua said, adding that the Social Welfare department expects .
The DWSD expects 10 million beneficiary-households—comprising the poorest 50 percent of the population—to receive their UCT transfers by August, Chua said.
These UCTs of P200 a month or a total of P2,400 this year will be increased to P300 a month or a total of P3,600 per year in 2019 and 2020, he added.
“The balance of 2.6 [million households], those are the new ones that are being registered now so that is expected in August. But when they get it sa August they get the full year [amount].”
The Finance department said the government had allocated P25.67 billion for UCTs under the 2018 General Appropriations Act (GAA) to help low-income households cope with the slight inflationary impact of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law.
Of the P25.67 billion, P24.49 billion will be handled by the Land Bank of the Philippines, which will distribute the money via ATM or through conduit systems.
The remaining P1.18 billion has been allocated to cover the administrative costs of implementing the social protection program.
Chua said that starting next year, the government expects to distribute 100 percent of the UCTs via ATMs.
Besides the UCTs, the 2018 GAA also includes allocations amounting to P3.11 billion for the jeepney modernization program as provided under the Train law, the Finance department said.
Of this amount, P843.45 million is included in the budget of the Transportation department, which is the chief implementor of the program, while P2.27 billion has been equally divided between the LandBank and the Development Bank of the Philippines, which will extend loans to jeepney drivers and operators.