One of the projects Department of Social Welfare and Development plan on implementing to reduce poverty is the UCT or Unconditional Cash Transfer. Undersecretary Florita Villar gave updates regarding this program in a press conference. It is actually a component of the government’s Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion or TRAIN program. The government tasked the DSWD to distribute 200 pesos per month UCT. DSWD plans to distribute this cash to 10 million Filipinos, those belonging to the poorest sectors of society. They aim to finish the distribution of this cash by the end of June 2018, with the help of Department of Finance and Land Bank of the Philippines.
OIC Leyco explained that this will be implemented for the next three years. It will release 2,400 pesos per month for the year of 2018. This would be equivalent to 200 pesos per month. In 2019 and 2020, they plan to release 3,600 pesos or 300 pesos per month. 24 billion pesos has been designated for the 2018 UCT implementation.
Among the ten million Filipino households or individuals who will receive the UCT, 4.4 million are beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or what is commonly known as the 4Ps. To give a little background on this, it is a government program that provides conditional cash grants to the poorest of the poor in the country. This program is also under the implementation of DSWD, as well as Department of Health, Department of Education and National Economic and Development Authority. The objective of this program is to reduce poverty by providing cash grants to children who stay in school, as well as get their health check-ups and vaccination.
Moving back to the UCT, included in the beneficiaries of this program are three million indigent senior citizens. The remaining 2.6 households/ individuals will be objectively selected from the Listahan or National Household Targeting System, an information management system that employs geographic targeting, household assessment, and validation in order to provide national government agencies, development partners, and other social protection actors with information on who and where the poor are in the Philippines.
This June 2018, Undersecretary Florita Villar gave updates as to the current process of the UCT. Out of 2.6 million of the identified households based on the 2015 Listahan, only 1.7 million have been validated as potential beneficiaries. Out of this 1.7 million households, 600,000 of them will receive their cash grants by the end of July. There are no further updates regarding the distribution of the UCT, or whether they have already distributed to households.
In the same press conference, DSWD also urged the different sectors of society to aid in the process of alleviating the poverty situation in the country.
“DSWD cannot do this alone, we need the support of all sectors including other government agencies, local government units, faith-based-groups, among others to resolve the issues of poverty and the increasing number of street children,” Acting Secretary Virginia Orogo concluded.