MANILA – The release of targeted subsidies to the most vulnerable Filipino families will help cushion the impact of elevated prices of oil and other commodities, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said.
 
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) approved the release of the Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) worth PHP4.1 billion for the Targeted Cash Transfer (TCT) Program. 
 
“The timely release of the fund is crucial in the government’s efforts to help the poor cope with the continuous rise in commodity prices due to external shocks and other factors,” said NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan in a statement Wednesday. 
 
He said the cash transfer program is an important intervention to protect the purchasing power of the poor, which is among the priorities of the Marcos administration’s eight-point socioeconomic agenda. 
 
The NEDA is tasked to flesh out the eight-point socioeconomic agenda in the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028, which it committed to deliver by the end of the year. 
 
“Our near-term goal as envisioned in our 8-point agenda is to safeguard Filipinos against the most pressing issues today, which are rising inflation and the lingering socioeconomic scarring caused by the Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic,” Balisacan said. 
 
The PHP4.1-billion budget allotment is part of the second tranche requirements for implementing the TCT Program. It will benefit over four million beneficiaries, who mostly belong to the poorest  of the country’s population. 
 
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is tasked to distribute the cash subsidy. 
 
Under the program, the DSWD will also provide PHP500 per month for two months. Distribution will be through remittance centers, special disbursing officers, and the Land Bank of the Philippines. 
 
Under the guidelines of the TCT Program, the DSWD will facilitate the distribution of cash grants amounting to PHP3,000, or PHP500 per month for six months. 
 
Its guidelines were released through the Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1, s. 2022 of the Department of Finance, NEDA, DBM, and DSWD. (PR)