BAGUIO CITY – Cordillera Administrative Region- In accordance to the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law this year, the Unconditional Cash Transfer lodged under the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to distribute to selected beneficiaries is also on its way.
The Unconditional Cash Transfer scheme of the DSWD aims to serve around 10 million poor households. This comprises of 4.4M households of Pantawid Pamilya, 3M indigent senior citizens of Social Pension Program, and 2.6M list of poor from Listahanan.
In the Cordillera Administrative Region, the 62, 880 households of Pantawid Pamilya will receive the UCT. As for the Social Pension Program, a total of 85,048 indigent senior citizens will also receive it. The numbers for around 32,000 remaining households of which CAR will cater will still be subject to validation and approval from the Central Office.
According to OIC-Secretary Emmanuel A. Leyco, all Pantawid Pamilya registered clean and active households will receive an additional P 200.00 unconditional cash transfer on top of their regular grants. 1.8 million beneficiaries with cash cards or automated teller machine (ATM) cards will receive this additional benefit first. The 2.6 million Pantawid Pamilya members without cash cards will receive the UCT grant through conduits as soon as possible.
“Our OIC-Regional Director Janet P. Armas is in constant coordination with the office of the OIC-Secretary regarding the status of release of these grants” Pantawid Pamilya Regional Program Coordinator Fatima D. Florendo.
UCT aims to alleviate the additional cost of living brought about by the increase in amount of common commodities., “This is unconditional since they are not required to be compliant with either health and education conditionalities of the program, unlike the Rice Subsidy that they are also receiving”, Florendo added.
Baguio City Social Welfare and Development Officer Betty F. Fangasan also likes the idea of the Unconditional Cash Transfer to temporarily alleviate the needs of the beneficiaries but also believes this meager amount isn’t sustainable in the long run, and how the TRAIN will affect the beneficiaries is her main concern. “Tayo nga na working, hirap na sa mga bilihin, sila pa kaya?. Pero siyempre we make sure na we cater to their needs by giving what services we have to them as well”, she added.
“Para sa akin, pabor ito, kahit konti lang ung 200, kasi siya pang dagdag na panggastos para sa mga bata” shared Ligaya Dela Cruz, one of the Pantawid beneficiaries from Baguio City.
The UCT will be implemented for 3 years. For 2018, each Pantawid Pamilya household will receive P200 per month or a total of P2,400 a year. This will increase to P300 per month or P3,600 annually for both 2019 and 2020. A total of P24 billion has been allocated for the UCT in the 2018 budget in accordance to the General Appropriations Act. “We are committed to serving the Filipino people the best way that we can,” OIC-Secretary Leyco concluded.
By Phylein Maria Rosette U. Callangan