MANILA - The P500 monthly subsidy for poor families that President Rodrigo Duterte ordered is expected to be released next month, the Department of Budget and Management said Wednesday.
The funds will come from the excess revenues from value added tax collections, according to DBM Undersecretary Tina Canda.
"At the moment we don't have it yet but we expect next month by April the BTR or the Bureau of Treasury will be able to certify excess revenue so it can trigger the release of this P500 for each beneficiary," she told ANC.
The cash assistance will last for 3 months and will likely be given in a "one-shot bigtime deal of depositing P1500," Canda said.
A parallel service contracting program will be released by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, which would provide free transport for commuters and direct subsidy to operators and drivers, Canda added.
"It's a direct subsidy to them and it is performance-based, number of kilometer is computed, corresponding amount is attributed to the kilometer," she said.
"We released P7b billion for this purpose last Monday issued to LTFRB precisely to cover the transport fee yung binabayad and also yung drivers."
Government decided not to suspend excise taxes on fuel as this would benefit only the richest 10 percent, according to Canda.
"Statistics show that the bulk of our fuel users is the richest 10 pct of our population. Once you suspend, there could be an immediate effect but you benefit the richest," she said.
"Effectively the poorest of the poor would not benefit...Government is saying as a result of this increase in prices we have to collect more. We have to address the biggest percentage of our society. We would not be able to benefit for example our middle class."