DBM readies P646B for social support programs
MANILA -The national government is continuing social support programs with P646.1 billion ready for marginalized Filipinos who still feel the brunt of high inflation, according to Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman.
Pangandaman told the Inquirer that the government is pushing ahead with programs like the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps, fuel subsidy for farmers and fishers, and service contracting, which last year provided free rides to commuters along Edsa.
“These programs are provided for in the 2023 national budget and we will ensure that funding will also be available in the 2024 budget, which we are now preparing,” she said.
The budget chief added that aside from the yearly General Appropriations Act, there were pending legislations that were intended to further extend support.
Last January, the government announced that the targeted cash transfer (TCT) program—designed to mitigate the effects of fuel price hikes on poor households specifically due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine—had ended.
Through the TCT, the government distributed P18.3 billion in subsidies to about 9.2 million household beneficiaries.
Back then, the Department of Finance said the TCT program intended to alleviate the initial shocks caused by high fuel prices on the most vulnerable households.
But now that the Philippine economy is recovering strongly and world oil prices are gradually stabilizing, the government is shifting its focus toward ensuring food security to control inflation.
The program, which expired in 2022, granted P500 in monthly cash aid to poor households, as identified by the Department of Social Work and Development. INQ