Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles (File photo)

MANILA – The government will be using existing funds from the 2022 national budget to grant cash aid to qualified beneficiaries most affected by the impact of inflation, Malacañang said Tuesday.

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles made this remark after the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) announced that it has approved PHP4.1 billion in funds for cash transfer to Filipino families most affected by rising commodity prices.

On Tuesday, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said the government is also eyeing to include election workers, mostly public school teachers, in its targeted cash transfer (TCT) program.

Cruz-Angeles said the Palace will leave it to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to make announcements in relation to the TCT program.

Ang pagsasaad niyan at pagsasabuhay niyan, pag-execute niyan ay nandun pa rin sa kalihim ng DSWD. Hintayin po natin kung meron po siyang babaguhin o kung itutuloy ng pareho-pareho lang dun sa dati (Stating that and implementing that, executing that is still up to the DSWD secretary. Let's wait to see if he changes something or if he continues the same as before),” Cruz-Angeles said in a Palace press briefing.

She, however, assured that there are enough funds to grant qualified beneficiaries cash aid.

“Sa ngayon, ‘yun dun sa natitira ‘yun po yung ginagamit nila (As of now, we will get it from the existing budget),” she added.

The TCT is a program initiated by former President Rodrigo Duterte that will facilitate the distribution of cash grants amounting to a total of PHP3,000 or PHP500 per month for six months.

Duterte issued the directive last May, but the fund for the program was released under the Marcos administration in July.

The TCT program will be implemented by DSWD for six months.

The DSWD said the list of target beneficiaries is composed of four million households under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps); six million non-4Ps households and individuals who previously benefited from the Unconditional Cash Transfer Program under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law which include the Social Pension Program beneficiaries; and 2.4 million households in the database of Listahanan that fall within the first to fifth income decile, or other poverty data sources of the agency.

The DSWD earlier said it aims to cover 12.4 million Filipino beneficiaries under the TCT program.

The PHP4.1 billion budget allotment, which will cover the second tranche requirements for the TCT program, is expected to benefit over four million beneficiaries.

Last month, the DSWD said there is a shortage in funds for the remaining tranches of the PHP500 monthly cash aid. (PNA)