Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman. File Photo
THE government may release within this month the first tranche of the planned P9.3 billion cash aid to poor individuals under the Targeted Cash Transfer Program to cushion the impact of high inflation.
Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said in a briefing that P7 billion of the amount will come from an “unreconciled” amount from the cash aid under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) law, and the balance will come from the contingent fund.
“Maybe we can release the first P7 billion initially, then next is the P2 billion,” she said.
“There were unreconciled amounts, for some reasons, in the previous cash aid under the Train Law. There is around P7 billion that is still with the Land Bank of the Philippines, on top of the P18 billion already released,” Pangandaman said.
Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno announced last week the planned launch of P9.3 billion cash assistance to the poorest individuals to help them cope with surging inflation.
He said 9.3 million poor individuals will get P1,000 that will be divided for distribution over two months.
Diokno said the cash aid would be an extension of the TCT program that was launched during the Duterte administration, where beneficiaries received P500 a month for six months.
Inflation blew past the target range last year and even accelerated to a more than 14-year high of 8.7 percent in January 2023.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas earlier said inflation in February likely quickened to as high as 9.3 percent.
BSP projected the February 2023 inflation to settle within the range of 8.5 percent to 9.3 percent.
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