MANILA, Philippines – After promising to clean up the list of beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino (4Ps) programme, Social Welfare Secretary Erwin Tulfo assured that the department will start distributing the P500 Targeted Cash Transfers (TCT) to families the country’s poorest to cushion the effects of rising oil and commodity prices.
The head of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), who officially took office last Thursday, said he aims to cover 12.4 million Filipino beneficiaries under the TCT scheme.
The beneficiaries who will receive aid are four million families from the 4Ps; six million non-4Ps who were former beneficiaries of the unconditional cash transfer program; and 2.4 families on the DSWD “Listahanan”, or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction – the database established by the DSWD to identify the poorest families in the country.
Tulfo said the process of depositing the grant onto recipients’ payment cards will begin this morning and could take as little as five to six days.
“President Marcos called me on Saturday asking when would we give the cash aid to the people. I said, ‘Monday morning sir,’ Tulfo said in Filipino.
The Ministry of Budget and Management released last Friday the 6.2 billion pula fund for the program which will be distributed as monthly aid to low-income families.
“This money will help our less fortunate compatriots, especially at a time when commodity prices are rising due to the global crisis we are facing,” the DSWD chief said.
The TCT program aims to provide a monthly cash grant program of P500 to poor Filipinos. Former President Rodrigo Duterte issued the directive last May, but the fund for the program was only released last Friday under the new Marcos administration.
The program will be implemented by DSWD for six months.
Tulfo also called on recipients to put their grant to good use by purchasing food and other necessities. He also warned that using it for illegal activities, such as gambling, could lead to the confiscation of their grants.