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Diokno: Gov’t preparing P1,000 ‘ayuda’ to help consumers cope with inflation

The Marcos administration is preparing to launch another round of cash aid under the Targeted Cash Transfer (TCT) program to help ease consumers’ burden amid the continuous high inflation rate, according to Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno.

“Right now, we’re considering the two-month subsidy for consumers,” Diokno told reporters on the sidelines of the 2023 Annual Reception for the Banking Community late Friday in Manila.

The Finance chief said the TCT program for consumers will be launched soon as the government has already identified the funding source.

“We’re just waiting for the announcement from the Palace,” he said.

Some 9.3 million “poorest of the poor” will receive P1,000 which will be divided for distribution for two months, according to Diokno.

The total budget for the cash aid is pegged at P9.3 billion plus 5% administration cost.

The Philippines saw an inflation rate of 8.7% in January, an acceleration which surprised economic managers. This is a fresh 14-year high or the fastest inflation print since the 9.1% recorded in November 2008.

The Finance chief said the upcoming cash aid for consumers would be an extension of the TCT program which was launched by the previous administration to alleviate the financial struggle of low income families amid the rise in cost of goods triggered by global oil price surge due to the Russia-Ukraine war. Under the TCT program, beneficiaries received P500 a month for six months. The last payout for the “targeted ayuda” was last month.

The Department of Budget and Management has previously released a total amount of P10.33 billion to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) covering two months of cash transfers for 10 million target household beneficiaries.

The DBM also released another P5.2 billion to cover the one-month requirement of the TCT program of the DSWD.

Senate employees will receive a one-time P50,000 inflation allowance for 2023, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri announced Monday. —KG, GMA Integrated News