MORE THAN nine million poor households will receive P500 each for two months to mitigate the impact of inflation, the Department of Finance said on Tuesday.
The government has allotted P9.3 billion for the cash transfer program for the poor, Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said at a televised Palace briefing after meeting with President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.
“This is P500 for two months, (totaling) P1,000 for 9.3 million households.”
The assistance will be released “in a few days or weeks,” he said. The list of beneficiaries will be generated by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Mr. Diokno said the government has set aside P26.6 billion overall to subsidize vulnerable members of society during the recent bout of high prices.
The subsidies will come in the form of fertilizer and fuel aid for farmers and fisherfolk as well as members of the transport sector.
“We will continue the provision of fuel discounts under the programs for farmers and fisherfolk,” he said. “Then, we will extend the targeted cash transfer program for 2023.”
Inflation eased to 8.6% in February from 8.7% in January.
The P500 cash assistance for two months marks a cutback from the P1,000 in aid that the government was considering in February.
In a statement, ACT Teachers Party-list Representative Francisca L. Castro said the P1,000 initial floated by the government last month “was already meager.”
“Mataas pa din ang inflation rate sa 8.6% at saan aabutin ang P500 sa isang buwan (Inflation is still high at 8.6% and P500 a month will not pay for much),” she said. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza