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Gov’t releases P18.3B for cash transfer program

Residents receive cash aid from the government in this file photo. — PHILIPPINE STAR/EDD GUMBAN

THE GOVERNMENT released a total of P18.3 billion in subsidies to about 9.2 million household beneficiaries as part of its targeted cash transfer (TCT) program, according to the Department of Finance (DoF).

“The TCT program intended to alleviate the initial shocks caused by high fuel prices on the most vulnerable households. Now that our economy is recovering strongly and world oil prices are gradually stabilizing, we are shifting our focus towards ensuring food security to control inflation,” Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said in a statement on Monday.

Under the program, the government granted cash payments for poor households amounting to P500 per month for six months.

The program, which was launched in June last year under President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s administration, was aimed at mitigating the impact of rising fuel prices and commodities on the most vulnerable households. It expired on Dec. 31, 2022.

The last payout of obligated subsidies was distributed between Jan. 4 to Jan. 14 this year.

The program initially targeted 12.4 million beneficiaries, such as low-income households who were previously beneficiaries under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) as well as some former recipients of the unconditional cash transfer program.

State-owned Land Bank of the Philippines was responsible for distributing the cash subsidy through various mediums, including cash cards, other banks, electronic money issuers, and remittance centers. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson

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