195K senior citizens in Bicol receive UCT dole out


By Connie Calipay LEGAZPI CITY --- Some 195,107 indigent senior citizens in Bicol began receiving P2,400 each under the Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). The payout started over the weekend and continues in the towns of Catanduanes, Albay, Sorsogon, Camarines Norte, and Camarines Sur. “The UCT is a cash subsidy provided under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law to lessen the adverse economic effects brought by the said law to poor Filipinos. This will be implemented for three years (2018-2020),” Arnel Garcia, director of DSWD 5 (Bicol), said in an interview on Tuesday. “The UCT cash grant cannot cover all the household expenses. This is only an augmentation to the poor affected by the inflation,” he added. For this year, each beneficiary will receive a total of P2,400, which is equivalent to P200 per month. For the succeeding years, a beneficiary will receive P300 monthly or P3,600 annually. The UCT is given to beneficiaries of Social Pension, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and Listahanan-identified poor households. DSWD 5 has completed the validation of 147,486 Listahanan-identified poor households for potential inclusion in the UCT Program, Garcia noted. The department targets to complete the release of the grant by September, with the Landbank of the Philippines handling and monitoring the distribution. PNA