People lining up at a Landbank automated teller machine (File photo)

MANILA – The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has granted the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) around PHP5.2 billion to bankroll the distribution of PHP500 monthly cash aid to 9.8 million poor households.

In a statement on Tuesday, the DBM said Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman on Nov. 17 approved the release of Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) amounting to PHP5.2 billion to the DSWD.

The DBM said the latest fund release, which will be charged against the Unprogrammed Appropriation (UA), will cover the third tranche of the DSWD’s TCT (targeted cash transfer) program.

“The amount seeks to cover part of the third tranche of the TCT program. Around 9.8 million identified beneficiaries will be covered by the latest fund release,” it said.

General Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2022 or Republic Act 11639 contains a special provision which provides that the UA may be availed of when there are new revenue collections or those arising from new tax or non-tax sources that are not part of, nor included in, the original revenue sources reflected in the Budget of Expenditure and Sources of Financing.

The DBM said the PHP5.2-billion release is part of the PHP9.1 billion computed requirement to cover the one-month grant for the 9.8 million identified beneficiaries and three-month grants for additional 2.6 million beneficiaries of the TCT program.

Pangandaman said the DBM, in line with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s directive to help the poor, fully supports the projects and programs that provide social assistance to Filipinos who are in need.

“It was the President himself who gave the marching order not to neglect those in dire need. Thus, we will do everything we can in our capacity so that they may receive the benefits entitled to them," she said.

Under the TCT Program, a PHP500 monthly subsidy will be given to the most affected households for a duration of six months.

The program is being implemented to mitigate the effects of the increase in the prices of fuel and other non-fuel commodities on vulnerable populations.

The DBM earlier released around PHP10.33 billion to cover the DSWD’s implementation of the TCT program for two months, benefitting 10 million target household beneficiaries. (PNA)