Tuesday, July 10, 2018

DSWD admits UCT is minimal assistance, but not meant to insult the poor


The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said that the P200 cash grant a month under the Unconditional Cash Transfer is indeed a minimal assistance to help the 10 million poor beneficiaries cope with the economic effects of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.

DSWD Acting Secretary Virginia N. Orogo said, “Maliit talaga ang P200 kung titignan sapagkat ito naman ay bilang ayuda lang sa mga mahihirap nating mga kababayan na maapektuhan ng mga pagbabagong dulot ng TRAIN law. Kami sa DSWD ang siya lamang nagsasagawa nito, ngunit ang mga pag-aaral ay masusing isinagawa ng mga mambabatas kasama ng Department of Finance (The P200 amount is minimal as this is just intended to aid our poor kababayans cope with the changes due to the TRAIN law. The DSWD is mandated to implement but the studies and analysis on the UCT provision was comprehensively done by our lawmakers and our colleagues in the DOF).”

The Department believes that the UCT was never intended to respond to all the needs of the poor families, but to cushion the effect of the adjustments in the excise tax of petroleum products and sweetened beverages. Studies have also shown that the impact of the excise tax adjustment is very minimal compared to the impact of the price increases of crude oil in the global market.

“Sa ilang pagkakataon naman nating pag-pay out, marami na tayong nakausap na mga benepisyaryo subalit wala naman po tayong na-encounter na nagsabing sila ay nainsulto sa maliit na ayuda. Bagkus, nagbigay pasalamat sila sa ayudang hindi nila inaasahang matatanggap (In the pay-outs we have conducted, we were able to interact with the beneficiaries of the UCT, and so far, we have not encountered a beneficiary who felt insulted by the assistance. The beneficiaries have actually expressed their gratitude to this minimal yet unexpected assistance),” shared Sec. Orogo.

Sixty-seven year old Lolo Januario Calderon was among those who received the P2,400 in the recently conducted pay-out in Silang, Cavite. Upon receiving the P2,400, Lolo January immediately went to the nearby drugstore to buy his medicine. “Nagpapasalamat ako sa social pension, saka dito sa dagdag na tulong sa amin. Malaking bagay na din ito sa pambili ng pagkain at saka sa aking paggagamot kasi di ko naman inakalang may ganito. Kapag may natanggap ako, bumibili na ako agad ng gamot ko. (I am thankful for the social pension and for this additional cash assistance to us. This is a big help in buying food as well as for my medicine as I did not expect this assistance. I immediately go to the drugstore to buy some medicines whenever I receive my cash grant.)

Knowing the importance of the UCT grant to the poor, DSWD is currently exerting all efforts to fast-track the distribution of the P2,400 in partnership with the LandBank of the Philippines.

To date, the Department has already provided the UCT grant to more than 4 million Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries and is currently conducting scheduled pay-outs for the beneficiaries of the Social Pension Program (SPP).

The Department targets to pay out the grants of 8 million out of the 10 million UCT beneficiaries at the end of this month.
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