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Philippine government to spend P206.5 billion for ayuda in 2023 as inflation soars

The government is set to spend some P206.5 billion for subsidies and cash support or ayuda in the coming year given the continued uptick in inflation, Malacañang said over the weekend.

Citing the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Office of the Press Secretary Officer-in-Charge Cheloy Garafil said the allocation covers cash transfers and other subsidy programs of the government.

Some P165.40 billion will be lodged under the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for social assistance programs, and P22.39 billion for the Medical Assistance to Indigent and Financially-Incapacitated Patients (MAIFIP) of the Department of Health (DOH).

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will also get P14.39 billion for its Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) Program, and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) P2.5 billion for fuel subsidies.

Another allocation is the P1 billion for fuel assistance to corn farmers and fisherfolk under the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Meanwhile, other 2023 budget allocations include the P115.6 billion for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), P25.3 billion for Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens (SPISC), and P4.4 billion for the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).

These cash transfers and other subsidy programs seek “to support vulnerable sectors amid surging commodity prices brought about by global inflation,” Garafil said over the weekend.

Inflation accelerated to a 14-year high of 7.7% in October, driven mainly by higher prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages.

The proposed 2023 budget is targeted to be signed by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. by mid-December, Senate Committee on Finance Chairperson Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara said in September.

Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman last month said the proposed P5.628-trillion budget is crafted to withstand future risks, challenges, and shocks, with a 4.9% increase from 2022.

The proposed budget was formally submitted to the House of Representatives in August. — DVM, GMA Integrated News