The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Thursday, January 10 said that the beneficiaries of the Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) program of the government will continue to receive their cash grant this 2019.
UCT is the tax subsidy provided for under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law to help 10 million indigent Filipino families and individuals cushion the effect of the policy in terms of the adjustments in the excise tax of petroleum products. The grant amounts to Php 200 per month or Php 2,400 for one year for its implementation in 2018 and Php 300 per month or Php 3,600 for one year for 2019 and 2020.
According to DSWD Assistant Secretary for Policy and Plans, Noel M. Macalalad, the implementation of UCT and the additional monthly P100 increase in the cash grant this 2019 will push through.
“From what we heard, the UCT and the prescribed P300 pesos per month for 2019 will push through,” Asec. Macalalad said.
The Assistant Secretary explained that the UCT program has been a priority since last year and that it has already been budgeted by the Department of Finance (DOF).
Referring to the UCT cash grant, Asec. Macalalad said, “Pero budgeted ng DOF, kumbaga alam ng DOF they need so much amount.”
Transitioning to cash cards
Asec. Macalalad shared that for 2019, the DSWD will transition from the manual payment of UCT to cash cards.
“Right now we are transitioning. In 2018 we were doing manual payment to the beneficiaries. This 2019, the government would like to push to transition them to cash cards so that we can eliminate the need to put up face-to-face payouts. What will happen is that the money will be deposited to the beneficiaries’ cash cards’ accounts,” the DSWD Assistant Secretary said.
“What we are trying to do now is to become more efficient in the delivery of the subsidy to the beneficiaries,” he added.
Asec. Macalalad shared that similar to last year, the DSWD is targeting to start distributing the UCT grant in June, as in the first two quarters of the year, the Department will be focusing on the registration of the beneficiaries for their cash cards.
The 10 million UCT beneficiaries include the 4.4 million Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries, 3 million senior citizen-beneficiaries of the Social Pension Program; and 2.6 million households from the DSWD’s Listahanan or database of poor households.