MANILA Around 1.8 million Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries under the national government's Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) program began receiving cash grants amounting to PHP2,400 for the year 2018 on Monday.
Recipients' ATM withdrawal of cash grants was witnessed by Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Officer-in-Charge Emmanuel Leyco at the Land Bank of the Philippines headquarters in Malate, Manila.
He said some families were given priority in getting the grants through the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law since they already have existing cash cards that they can use to withdraw the amount.
"We decided that they will be the first batch to receive the grants as it is easier for Land Bank to facilitate the transfer of funds. The cash grants were directly deposited to their accounts by Land Bank, said Leyco.
"These Pantawid beneficiaries can already withdraw their 2018 cash grants amounting to PHP2,400 through Land Bank Automated Teller Machines (ATM) nationwide," he added.
Leyco said a total of 419,663 accounts of beneficiaries from the National Capital Region, Regions I, II, and the Cordillera Administrative Regions received UCT grants. There are around 10 million target recipients of UCT.
"Crediting of UCT grants for beneficiaries from other regions is expected to be completed tomorrow (March 6)," he said.
More than PHP4.3 billion was released by Land Bank for the 2018 cash grants of the 1.8 million household-beneficiaries.
Leyco said they are currently exploring all measures so that the remaining 8.2 million beneficiaries will soon receive their UCT subsidies.
Aside from 4Ps beneficiaries, other recipients are indigent senior citizens and other poor identified under the Listahanan (Listahan ng Mahihirap na Pamilya) or data from the National Household Targetting System for Poverty Reduction.
The cash grant is an added cash benefit for Pantawid beneficiaries who are also receiving their regular cash grant and PHP600 rice subsidy from the Pantawid Pamilya Program as part of government's commitment to help them due to the expected increase in prices of commodities as an aftermath of TRAIN Law implementation.
UCT is the tax subsidy provided under the TRAIN law to help the poor cushion the adverse economic effect of the policy. It is considered to be the biggest tax reform mitigation program under the TRAIN law which seeks to provide 10 million beneficiaries with cash subsidies amounting to PHP200 a month for 2018 and PHP300 a month for 2019 and 2020.
Leyco said that he believes that the poor recipients will wisely spend the cash grants.
Source: Philippine News Agency