P18.3 billion in cash aid given to low income households

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The government has concluded its P500 cash aid for low-income households impacted by the continued increase in commodity prices, with a total of P18.3 billion in subsidies released.

Data from the Department of Finance (DOF) showed that a total of P18.3 billion has been distributed for the Targeted Cash Transfer program implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Initiated by the Duterte administration, the program granted cash aid amounting to P500 per month for six months to poor households, as identified by the DSWD.

It was meant to mitigate the effects of the increase in the prices of fuel and other non-fuel commodities on vulnerable groups.

The program expired on Dec. 31, 2022 with the last payout of obligated subsidies distributed from Jan. 4 to 14.

A total of 9.2 million households benefited from the program with three tranches starting July 2022.

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the program was 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 toward ensuring food security to control inflation,” Diokno said.

Inflation sizzled to a 14-year high of 8.1 percent in December, with the full year rate at 5.8 percent, well-above the two to four percent target for 2022.

For this year, however, the government is expecting that the headline inflation rate will start to slowly taper and eventually return within the target band.

The implementation and oversight of the TCT program implementation was chaired by the DOF and co-chaired by the DSWD.

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