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P500 monthly subsidy for poor families undistributed —DSWD

The government's P500 monthly subsidy for low income families has remained undistributed, three months after President Rodrigo Duterte's approval.

 Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) spokesperson Irene Dumlao confirmed the payout delay on Thursday.

Dumlao was referring to the government subsidy that will be good for three months or a total of P1,500 for each of the 12.4 million low income families.

"The Joint Memorandum Circular on this between agencies ay napirmahan na, isinasaayos na ng mga ahensiya ang kinakailangan dokumento para makapag-umpisa na ng pamamahagi ng P500 monthly subsidy bago magtapos ang termino ni Pangulong Duterte," Dumlao said during Laging Handa briefing.

(The memo for this has been signed, and the agencies are working on the documents so we can start distribution of the P500 monthly subsidy before the President's term ends.)

Duterte has 21 days left in office before his term as President ends on June 30.

He had ordered the release of the monthly subsidy for low income families, which he even increased from P200 to P500 per month back in March.

Pressed on what is causing the delay, Dumlao reiterated that proper documentation is still being readied for the distribution process.

"We need to account kung ilang mahihirap na pamilya na po ang may cash card para sila na po ang unang mapahatiran ng subsidy ng national government," Dumlao pointed out.

Likewise, Dumlao said that around 12.4 million households are qualified under this subsidy program.

Qualified households include those under the Conditional Cash Transfer program, beneficiaries of the Social Pension program, and other poor households as identified by the DSWD's National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction.

Earlier, the Palace said that crucial government programs -- including subsidy -- are among the reasons why the administration cannot suspend imposition of excise tax on fuel despite unabated oil price hikes.

Oil prices have ranged from P70 to P80 per liter almost four months since Russia's unprovoked assault on Ukraine's separatist territories.

Russia's unprovoked attacks on Ukraine have prompted other countries to impose economic sanctions on Russia, including cutting gas pipelines. —LBG, GMA News