MANILA — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Thursday said it targets to release the P500 subsidy for the country's low-income families by the end of the month.
Some 12.4 million poor households including members of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and social pension beneficiaries will receive the cash aid, DSWD spokesperson Irene Dumlao said.
"Inaasahan na itong P500 per month na subsidy ay maumpisahan bago magtapos ang termino ni Pangulong Duterte," Dumlao said in a televised briefing.
(We are expecting to release this P500 montly subsidty before the term of President Duterte ends.)
"Isinasaayos na natin ang mga dokumento para makapag-umpisa na doon sa distribution. Ina-account na po natin kung ilang sa ating mga mahihirap na pamilya ang may existing cash cards upang sila ang unang mahatiran ng first tranche ng subsidy na mula sa national government," she added.
(We are preparing the documents so we can start with this already. We are still accounting how many poor families have existing cash cards so they can receive the first tranche of the subsidy.)
It was not mentioned though until when these beneficiaries will receive the subsidy, but authorities earlier said the country could only sustain the program for 3 months.
In mid-March, President Rodrigo Duterte approved the monthly subsidy for these households to cushion the economic impact of rising fuel prices and higher food cost. Various sectors had described the subsidy as a pittance and could not even cover a day's worth of expenses.
Dumlao said there were no delays for the President's order, adding that it took them over 2 months to implement this due to necessary stamps of approval.
"Hindi natin nakita na may delay, may isinaayos lang tayo ng mga kinakailangang proseso para matiyak natin na magiging maayos ang pamamahagi ng tulong na ito," she noted.
(We don't consider it as a delay. We just had to prepare, undergo processes to ensure that the distribution will be smooth.)
Fuel prices have continued to increase in recent weeks, already affecting food production and distribution costs. The Department of Agriculture has also warned of a looming food crisis due to Russia's ongoing war with Ukraine.