DBM: No timeline yet for distribution of P200 aid to poor families

Angelica Y. Yang - Philstar.com
DBM: No timeline yet for distribution of P200 aid to poor families
This March 2022 photo shows a notice to customers of impending price hikes on bread and other baked products. Rising fuel prices are seen to affect the prices of basic goods.

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said on Monday that there is no schedule yet for the distribution of the monthly P200 ayuda for poor households. 

This comes around a week after Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III proposed a P200 monthly subsidy for 12 million poor families for a year as the country continued to experience the impacts of the sustained fuel price hikes. Presidential spokesperson Martin Andanar earlier confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte approved of the proposal, but said it is up to the DBM to release the guidelines.

"Itong sa P200 na 'to [monthly subsidy], hindi namin alam kung kelan exactong panahon kung kelan ito. I hope na mabigay 'to sa lalong madaling panahon kasi marami rin nagrereklamo tungkol dun sa pagtaas ng presyo ng bilihin," Acting Budget Secretary Tina Canda said in an interview aired on ANC's "Headstart" on Monday. 

(This P200 monthly subsidy — we don't know when exactly this will be distributed. I hope that this will be distributed quickly because there are a lot of people who are experiencing rising prices of goods)

READ: DOE pushes for competitive prices, targeted relief amid continued oil price rise

Canda explained that the Department of Social Welfare and Development is in charge of distributing the funds, but added she was not sure if they would be releasing them in quarterly tranches or as a lump sum.

"Matrabaho naman kasi kung every month naglalabas ng DSWD ng P200 so baka ano iyan lump sum ng lump sum ang gagawin nila," she said. 

("It would be laborious if the DSWD releases P200 every month, so maybe it will be given in lump sums.")

The P200 monthly subsidy program can cost the government P33.1 billion. 

The government has vowed to roll out fuel subsidies amounting to P6.1 billion for two of its programs- the Pantawid Pasada Program for the transport sector and the fuel discount program for farmers and fisherfolk. 

Dominguez, the finance chief, earlier pushed to expand the cash aid program, which he believes is better than suspending the collection of fuel excise taxes as several senators and groups have been calling for. 

READ: Ignoring calls to suspend fuel taxes, gov't to expand cash aid program

Finance department estimates showed that halting the collection of fuel excise taxes will cause the country a revenue loss of P105.9 billion. 





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