The release of the P500 monthly cash aid for low income families is targeted to be rolled out before the term of President Rodrigo Duterte ends this month, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said Saturday.
In an interview on Dobol B TV, DSWD spokesperson Director Irene Dumlao said the Department of Budget and Management, National Economic and Development Authority, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and the DSWD issued a joint memorandum circular containing the guidelines for the distribution of the monthly subsidy in May.
With this, she said, “Itong P500 na ayuda, maaari na tayong makapagsimula sa pamamahagi nito bago magtapos ang termino ni Pangulong Duterte.”
(We can start distributing the P500 subsidy before the term of President Duterte ends.)
Dumlao made the remark after she confirmed that the cash aid remained undistributed, three months after Duterte approved it.
In March, Duterte ordered that the monthly cash aid for the country’s poorest of the poor be increased from P200 a month to P500 a month amid the rising cost of fuel and other basic commodities.
Dumlao said the target beneficiaries are the bottom 15% of the population or about 12.4 million low income households.
She said that qualified beneficiaries include those under the Conditional Cash Transfer program, beneficiaries of the Social Pension program, and other poor households as identified by the DSWD’s National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction.
The DSWD official said the monthly cash grant will be given at P1,000 every two months for a period of six months.
Earlier, the Palace said that crucial government programs — including subsidy — are among the reasons why the administration cannot suspend imposition of excise tax on fuel despite unabated oil price hikes.
Oil prices have ranged from P70 to P80 per liter for almost four months since Russia’s unprovoked assault on Ukraine’s separatist territories.
Russia’s attacks in Ukraine have prompted other countries to impose economic sanctions on Russia, including cutting gas pipelines. –KG, GMA News