UCT benefits 328K indigent families, elderly in Region 1

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union—A total of 200,883 indigent families from the entire Region 1 have received PHP2,400 worth of the unconditional cash transfer (UCT), while 127,195 poor senior citizens began receiving the same amount on July 14.

“UCT is the measure of the government to ease or help the poor citizens cope up with the increasing prices of basic commodities. Those who are part of this program avail PHP200 per month subsidy from the government but it is given on one-time payment basis,” said Iryn Cubangbang, information officer of the Department of Social Welfare and Development-Region 1 (DSWD-1) in an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Tuesday.

Cubangbang said that 198,331 families who are beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and the 2,552 beneficiaries of the modified conditional cash transfer program of the DSWD, have received their UCT during the first two quarters of this year.

“If there are still some who are receiving or are yet to receive their UCT until now, those are what we call grievances,” she said.

Cubangbang added that “the modified conditional cash transfer beneficiaries are indigent families who were not included in the 4Ps, covering those who have child or children with disabilities.”

She likewise said that the regular members of 4Ps, and senior citizens under social pension program were automatically part of the UCT program of the government.

Cubangbang said the distribution of UCT to senior social pensioners is still continuing with 125 local government units (LGUs) involved.

“Our Regional Director Marcelo Nicomedes Castillo mandated us to hasten the release of UCT to our senior beneficiaries. We also acknowledge the logistic support of our LGUs for their additional manpower, setting up the venue for distribution as well as providing ambulance and medical team to handle emergencies that might arise while we are conducting the activity. We hope to finish by the end of the month,” Cubangbang said.

Meanwhile, 68,480 households identified as poor have already been validated to be part of the UCT beneficiaries and will receive their UCT within this month.

“These are families who are not part of the 4Ps and other DSWD programs but are identified as poor based on Listahanan, our office’s database, wherein we obtain information other than their income or source of income. We also asked other information like the social services they have access to, their appliances and other assets, what kind of material their house was made of, do they own the house, sort of questions,” Cubangbang added.

The UCT beneficiaries will receive PHP300 per month subsidy in 2019 and 2020, she said.

“Malaking tulong ito para sa mga senior citizens kaya malaki ang pasasalamat naming dahil nabiyayaan ang mga senior na tulad namin (This is a big help for senior citizens that is why we are so grateful because senior citizens like us were blessed with this program),” said Francisca Iñigo, president of the Federation of Senior Citizens Association Malasiqui Chapter. Hilda Austria/PNA-northboundasia.com