dswd modified conditional cash transfer program

DSWD Modified Conditional Cash Transfer Program (MCCT)

Conditional cash transfers are just one of the programs under the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). The DSWD is the government agency responsible for providing social protection services to Filipino families in need. The DSWD has various programs that help its beneficiaries, including those who are underprivileged and those living in poverty.

Also Read: DSWD Targeted Cash Transfer (TCT) Program

What makes conditional cash transfers unique is that it gives their beneficiaries a chance to improve their lives by providing them with the means to do so. This is done by giving them cash grants and other incentives, depending on how well they perform in specific activities such as health checkups for pregnant women and children below five years old, hence, the term “conditional cash transfers“. To learn more about the DSWD’s CCT program, keep reading below.

dswd modified conditional cash transfer program

What is the DSWD Modified Conditional Cash Transfer Program (CCT)?

The goal of the MCCT Program is to reach out to families who are more vulnerable and poor but are not covered by the regular cash transfer program. This is because they were excluded from the list of households that were targeted by the NHTS or Listahanan.

This program aims to provide financial assistance to children and families the regular CCT does not cover.

Also Read: How to Apply DSWD Unconditional Cash Transfer Program

Majority of migrant families spend most of their time on the streets since it is how they earn a living. Indigenous people (IP) families are typically seen in urbanized or rural regions. Families with disabled children are those whose children have long-term mental, sensory, or physical impairments that can prevent them from fully participating in society. On the other hand, child laborers work to provide for their families. These include children who work in hazardous conditions and are exposed to child sexual exploitation.

The MCCT seeks to assist homeless, former street children in the transition from living on the street to a more decent dwelling unit; to facilitate access of IPs in GIDA and other FNSPs to health, education and other basic social services; zero deaths among infants and children under five years old; zero deaths among pregnant women under normal conditions; all 3-5 years old children are availing early childhood care and development services; all 6-18 years old children in target areas are in school; and third-degree malnourished children under five years old are rehabilitated.

The Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT) program is a program that aims to reduce poverty among families living in urban poor communities. This program covers all expenses for the child’s education and nutrition and provides basic health services, if necessary. The MCCT is conditional on school attendance, regular participation in health education activities, and ensuring that children are not employed as laborers by their parents or guardians.

MCCT also aims to return children to school and facilitate their regular attendance, including access to Alternative Delivery Mode and other special learning modes; facilitate access to health and nutrition services through regular visits to health centers; enhance parenting roles through participation in Family Development Sessions (FDS), and reunite children from the streets with their families.

Beneficiaries of the MCCT will receive cash grants if they meet the following conditions: weekly attendance at FDS for the first two months; once a month attendance at FDS and family counseling sessions for the following months; attendance at Alternative mode of learning or formal schools; visits to health centers; and residing in a permanent residence after six months of social preparation.


MCCT supplies HSF, IPs in GIDA, and FNSP with financial grants and necessary social welfare measures. In addition, it offers partner-families with additional support services or interventions that enhance their access to health and educational resources until they are ready to be integrated into the normal CCT.

A. Straight Grants

a. Education grant of P300 per month for every beneficiary kid enrolled in daycare, pre-school, and elementary school.

b. Education grant of P500 per month for beneficiary child enrolled in high school.

c. Health grant of P500 per family recipient

Education grants are awarded for each dependent kid, up to a maximum of three, commencing with the youngest and without replacement.

B. Service Support Intervention For HSF

a. Assistance with shelter in the sum of P4,000, which may be provided as early as the first month of membership and for a maximum of 12 months. The lessor receives payments, not the recipient.

b. Access to employment and livelihood possibilities, such as cash-for-work and the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), may be made available to members in their fifth month of membership.

Regarding IP in GIDA

Other incentives may be employed for community-initiated initiatives or activities that generate cash for the community.


Target beneficiaries of MCCT are:

  • homeless street families,
  • indigenous peoples in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDA), and
  • families in need of special protection (FNSP).

These are called “partner families” in the program.


Mainstreaming of MCCT beneficiaries into the Regular CCT shall be determined based upon the assessment of the caseworker/community facilitator given the following criteria:

1. Identified “Poor” by Listahanan based on the result of the Proxy Means Test

2. With eligible members aged 0-18 years old children and/or pregnant member during first monitoring period in the RCCT (eligibility requirement shall follow the existing requirements of the RCCT)

3. ‘Compliance to conditionalities from the last six (6) months before mainstreaming assessment. Active registered families who were assessed as compliant

to the conditionalities of the program as applicable:

• 85% attendance in education services (3-18 yrs. old monitored


• 85% compliance with the availment of health services

85% compliance to FDS

4. Homeless families already staying for at least 3 consecutive months in a safe home or

secured residence.

Note: Succeeding assessment will be conducted on a yearly basis.

  • They must have children aged 0-18 years old and/or with pregnant member of the family at the time of selection
  • They must be willing and committed to comply with the program conditionalities and cooperate in the helping process; and
  • They must be excluded from the NHTS database and the Pantawid Pamilya Program

How to Process DSWD Conditional Cash Transfer

The caseworker, community facilitator, or municipal link will prepare the beneficiaries for the mainstreaming process by providing them with the necessary information and orientation. This will be done through the Family Development Sessions and the mainstreaming modules.

After reviewing the status of the MCCT database, the regional focus with the CMT will then engage in a pre-orientation session to prepare for the mainstreaming process. The Community facilitator or caseworker will facilitate this.

The regional preparation phase involves reviewing the family information and ensuring that all the necessary steps have been completed. This includes the inventory of compliance reporting and payment processing.

The MCCT beneficiaries’ mainstreaming process will begin once the database has been reviewed and the list of them submitted to Listahanan, which will include Segregating the beneficiaries who were part of Lists 1 and 2. Those who were not part of the list will be given extraordinary validation.

Here’s Why Conditional Cash Transfers Work

Critics say that the CCT program could not create jobs or provide adequate health care for the poor. However, the government argues that it has helped improve school attendance and reduce violence in areas plagued by conflict.

The government is planning on spending even more on its flagship program, which aims to improve school attendance and reduce violence in certain areas. By 2015, a quarter of the country’s population is expected to be covered by the program, which is unprecedented in the country’s history. Among the beneficiaries will be the disabled, abandoned children, and those who have been displaced by conflict or calamities.

The success of the cash transfer program has been attributed to its sustained global attention. It started as early as the 1990s in various parts of Latin America and Brazil. The program has been implemented through various permutations in different countries, including metropolitan areas such as New York. Despite the widespread use of these programs, persistent poverty still remains a major issue in many areas.

The concept of cash transfer programs is simple: They provide cash grants to families to help with their children’s education and health needs. These funds are usually given to the families after they meet the government’s requirements. Unlike traditional welfare programs, which were designed to benefit everyone, cash transfer programs are more conservative.

The goal of cash transfer programs is to punish the parents of the poorest families for their failure to provide adequate care for their children. Instead of directly intervening, the State uses this method to monitor the welfare of the children.

Cash transfer programs aim to change the lives of the poor by addressing their root causes. In other words, they are not designed to affect the people who are currently affected by poverty immediately. Instead, they are aimed at addressing the issue in the future.

Similar to other new programs, cash transfer programs have mixed results. As with other initiatives, they need to be re-calibrated and refined to reach their goals. This article will review the state of the cash transfer program in the Philippines. We will also look at its potential shortcomings and examine its applications. In addition, we will talk about the recommendations that policymakers and scholars have made to improve the program.

The 4Ps

Four million poor households are receiving conditional transfers as part of the government’s flagship anti-poverty program, known as the 4Ps.

According to the DSWD’s first quarter report, the 4Ps have been fully covered in all areas of the country. This includes the municipalities, regional, and provincial levels.

The program’s goal is to invest in the country’s human capital by providing financial support to the families of poor children and keeping them in school.

The cash transfers are based on the household’s compliance with these conditions. In the first quarter of this year, the compliance rates for both the health and education components were high. In addition, the percentage of children immunized against diseases has increased significantly.

One of the most significant social challenges that the country faces today is the high number of maternal deaths. Since the CCTs have encouraged women to seek health care before and after childbirth, this has been very important.

According to Dinky Soliman, the former social welfare secretary, women in 4P families are more likely to have at least four prenatal visits. This has resulted in a significant increase in their compliance rate, from 54 percent to 64 percent. An impact evaluation of the program revealed that mothers in these families receive more health care services before and after childbirth.

Apart from helping children, the program also aims to empower parents. Through Family Development Sessions, this component provides them with the necessary tools and resources to look after their kids.

Early success

The 4Ps have been regarded as the country’s biggest social protection program. It is similar to programs in other Latin American countries, such as Mexico’s Oportunidades and Brazil’s Bolsa Familia.

The Bolsa Familia program is one of the most prominent initiatives of Brazil’s economic and social transformation. It was first implemented in 2003. Since then, it has reached over 46 million people.

In the past five years, Brazil has lifted over 22 million people out of extreme poverty. The richest 20% of the country’s population has seen its wealth decline, while the poorest 20% has gained.

In Mexico, the Oportunidades has been credited with reducing the number of illness cases among children enrolled in the program.

Reducing conflict

After five years, the 4Ps have been shown to impact the communities they serve positively. In a study conducted by the University of Denver, researchers noted that the 4Ps helped reduce the incidence of civil conflict in the Philippines.

The study, which was conducted by the Philippine Armed Forces, showed that the number of reported conflicts decreased significantly in the areas where the program was implemented in 2009. This is because the country is home to numerous violent communist and Islamic groups.

The study also noted that cash transfers can help the public trust the government and provide actionable information about insurgents. Also, these transactions increase the risk of insurgents joining them once they become active.

Cash transfers are believed to be more effective in reducing conflict than community-driven development programs. These transactions are less likely to be intercepted and can be carried out without attracting the attention of insurgents. In addition, in-kind and physical aid can increase the number of resources that both parties have available to fight.

A study conducted on Colombia’s version of CCTs revealed that these transactions help increase the number of people enrolled in areas affected by violent conflicts. Like the Philippines, Colombia is also affected by separatist guerilla movements.

Leakage rate

Various international organizations have praised the program for its contribution to improving education and health in the developing world.

Some people are not impressed by the 4Ps. They claim that they are just Band-aids designed to provide temporary social protection.

The IBON Foundation, however, sees the program as a dole-out program that only exacerbates the country’s debt. The Asian Development Bank and the World Bank partially fund the program.

According to IBON, the 4Ps are not sustainable and have minimal impact on reducing poverty. A local urban poor organization, KADAMAY, also claims that despite the huge budget allocated for the program, the CCTs have not improved the lives of the poor.

In February this year, KADAMAY’s leader Carlito Badion said that instead of using the funds allocated for the program to provide CCTs, the government should focus on developing industries that can create jobs for the poor.

Despite the country’s impressive economic growth of 7.8% during the first quarter of this year, the income gap in the Philippines has not decreased. According to the latest statistics from the country’s statistical agency, the poverty incidence has not changed.

A study conducted by the Philippines Institute for Development Studies revealed that the 4Ps had not reached all of their intended beneficiaries. According to the study presented at a recent global development conference, the program has a leakage rate of around 29%.

Only 7.2% of the income poor who were given cash transfers became non-poor. The DSWD uses a combination of methods to identify its beneficiaries. These include geographic targeting and a proxy-meant method known as the NHTS-PR. The municipalities that have high poverty incidence rates are then selected.

The NHTS-PR uses a sliding scale to determine the poor households affected by the program. If a household has a pregnant woman or her children below the age of 14, they are eligible for the program.

The NHTS-PR has estimated that over 5.2 million poor families are in the Philippines. Over 80% of them live in rural areas.

High school completion

According to Reyes, the drop in school enrollment among children from 4P families is significant. This is because the kids from these families are no longer eligible for cash transfers.

According to a study conducted by the Public Interest Data Systems, the school attendance rate for 4P families drops dramatically as children grow older.

There is no substantial difference in school attendance between children from 4P and non–4P families.

In a previous policy paper, Reyes noted that the Philippines’ version of the cash transfer program is similar to that of other Latin American countries. For instance, in Mexico, the Oportunidades provides cash assistance to students until they reach the age of 22. It also provides economic incentives to graduates who finish high school before the age of 22.

In Brazil, the Bolsa Familia provides greater financial assistance to adolescents than to children. It also covers them until they reach the age of 17 years old.

He noted that the program should focus on high school instead of elementary completion since there are better job opportunities for graduates from this level of education.

According to a study conducted by Dr. Celia Reyes of the PIDS (Philippine Institute for Development Studies), graduates of high school in the Philippines earn about 45% more than those who have only attended elementary school. This suggests that the 4Ps can benefit from the program by investing in human capital.

Boys left behind

Many boys from the poorest families leave the school system early to help their families earn more money. During a Global Development Conference held in 2015, it was widely agreed that income disparity is one of the most significant factors that prevent people from achieving full development. A study by Alejandro Hoyos and Hugo opo on the Latin American experience revealed that over a decade of investments in community development projects (CCTs) have significantly reduced inequality in the region.

It was also revealed that even though the number of people living in poverty had decreased, it had not always been reduced. This is due to various factors, such as the deteriorating standard of education.

According to a report by the World Bank, the increasing number of boys from the lowest socioeconomic groups leaving schools to look for work or join gangs is a major issue that needs to be addressed.

The report also noted that in 2011, more boys than girls dropped out of school. Around six out of every ten teenagers were working instead of studying.

This issue has to be addressed in the country, as it may well happen in the near future. One of the most effective ways to address this issue is by implementing programs that provide different levels of support for different age groups. For instance, instead of giving a monthly payment of P300 for each child, the government should provide more support to help children finish high school.

Future plans: Modified CCTs

According to the program, it should focus on providing aid for five to ten years instead of the usual two to three. This would allow the beneficiaries to finish high school.

According to Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, the government is considering extending the program’s grant to ensure the beneficiaries finish high school. This would allow them to get more employment opportunities.

Aside from increasing the number of beneficiaries, the government is also planning to extend the program’s coverage. One of the ways to do this is through a modified conditional cash transfer (MCCT). This method will allow the government to provide aid to families that have been affected by conflicts and calamities.

The children who are considered for inclusion in the program are those who have various forms of disability. They may have been abandoned or forced to work.

The DSWD’s NHTO has started a validation program to address the leakage rate. This involves validating the poor households in each area. The list is then posted in prominent locations in the community to encourage the public to react if they see an incorrect family.

Staff members of the NHTO then receive complaints and queries. These are then forwarded to a local verification committee, which handles these appeals and complaints.

As the Philippines pursues the Millennium Development Goals, it is now more important that the government focuses on bringing development to all sectors of the society. Long-term returns on human capital investment will not be seen immediately. Therefore, it is important to remember that CCTs serve as a social investment.

According to the National Statistics Board, the government needs to allocate about P180 billion annually for the implementation of its poverty-reduction program. This year’s allotment has increased to P44. billion.

Despite the government’s financial constraints, the 4Ps have been able to make significant progress in improving the quality of education and addressing various social issues.

The 4Ps are expected to cover around 28 million poor Filipinos in 2015. This is a quarter of the country’s population and the largest number of people covered under a social protection program in history. Even as the economy grows, we must continue to ensure that the poor are not left behind.

Video: In numbers: The conditional cash transfer program | ANC

Here’s a report on where the DSWD’s Conditional Cash Transfer law has effectively improved families’ lives. The report also highlights areas where it can do better.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about the DSWD’s modified conditional cash transfer program.

1. Why is it called “modified”?

This strategy is modified because it combines CCT and various conditionalities. These modifications include the implementation of different modes of action and the targeting of benefits.

2. Who are considered “families in need of special protection”?

FNSPs are individuals who have been displaced due to armed conflicts or natural disasters. They are usually placed in temporary shelters or evacuation centers.

3. What is the coverage of the MCCT?

The implementation of the MCCT has affected 3,774 street families and over 100,000 families in IPGIDA. Similarly, over 51,824 families have been affected by the FNSP.

4. What are the objectives of the MCCT Program?

MCCT seeks to:

• Assist HSF in the transition from living in the streets to a more decent dwelling unit;

• Facilitate access of HSF, IPs in GIDA and other FNSP to health, education and other basic social services;

• Zero deaths among infants and children, and children under five years old;

• Zero deaths among pregnant women under normal conditions;

• Ensure all 3-5 years old children are availing of early childhood care and development


• Ensure all 6-18 years old children in target areas are in school;

• Ensure third-degree malnourished children under five years of age are rehabilitated.

5. What are the obligations of the partner family under the MCCT?

  • Attendance to school either in formal or by Alternative Delivery Mode of Learning
  • Availment of health care services in
    accordance with the Department of Health (DOH) protocols
  • Attendance to Family Development Sessions


The DSWD has adopted a very promising approach to address the needs of the most vulnerable sector in our society. It is a holistic approach that not only provides direct services to indigent families but also helps them overcome poverty and achieve self-reliance. The MCCT is one of DSWD’s programs that seeks to transform lives by empowering families towards economic independence.

We hope this article has helped you better understand the program. If you have any questions or concerns, please leave them in your comments below or visit the DSWD’s official website for further information.


DSWD Targeted Cash Transfer (TCT) Program

Good news to our kababayans! In its effort to address the lack of access to financial services and opportunities for the poor in the country, the DSWD has created the Targeted Cash Transfer (TCT) program as part of its efforts to promote inclusive growth. The TCT aims to provide households with immediate cash grants for productive investments and help build their capacity for self-employment.

Also Read: List of DSWD Programs, Projects and Services

The cash grant aims to allow beneficiaries to invest in their own enterprises, create jobs, and provide better opportunities for themselves and their families. The DSWD also provides livelihood support services to eligible beneficiaries interested in starting their own business, such as entrepreneurship training, micro-finance loans, access to markets and other financial services. Learn more about the DSWD TCT program by reading the sections below.

What is DSWD Targeted Cash Transfer (TCT) Assistance

The government of the Philippines committed to provide financial assistance to the poorest households in the country through the DSWD TCT Program, which is aimed at mitigating the effects of inflation, rising fuel prices and commodities. Under the program, the DSWD will provide cash grants to the poorest households for six (6) months.

The program is modeled after the UCT program, which was implemented under the TRAIN Law. The DSWD will serve as the lead agency overseeing the program’s implementation.

As such, the following guideline will help ensure that:

  1. The 12.4 million households to receive the cash transfer are identified;
  2. Payroll and institutional arrangements are prepared; and
  3. Schemes are adopted that will expedite the distribution of cash transfer to beneficiaries.

Legal Bases:

The implementation of the TCT Program is anchored on the following issuances:

  1. Department of Finance (DOF), DSWD, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1. Series of 2022, General Guidelines for the Implementation of the TCT Program dated June 1, 2022.
  2. Memorandum from the Executive Secretary dated May 2, 2022 on the Implementation of the TCT Program for Vulnerable Households Affected by the
  3. Recent Oil Price Hike.


The program offers a direct cash benefit per month for six (6) months for the poorest households.

  • The program will provide cash grants of up to PhP 3,000.00 (or Php 500 per month) to eligible beneficiaries every six months. These grants are intended to help the poorest households in the country. The distribution of these funds is subject to the availability of funds.
  • Augment the eligible beneficiaries’ disposable income, which is expected to improve their capacity to meet their basic needs;
  • Easy cash distribution scheme through the Landbank of the Philippines

Coverage and Qualifications

  • Some 4.0 million identified beneficiaries under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps);
  • Some 6.0 million identified non-4Ps households who were previously beneficiaries under the 2018 to 2020 UCT program stipulated under RA 10963 or the TRAIN Law, including beneficiaries of the Social Pension Program; and
  • Some 2.4 million households in the database of the Listahan or National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) or other data sources as applicable, provided that they will fall within the first to fifth income decile of the NHTS-PR.

How to Process DSWD Targeted Cash Transfer (TCT)

  1. Beneficiaries identified by the DSWD shall receive payments amounting to Php500 per month for six (6) months (except for the months of April-July), in an appropriate manner, as determined by the DSWD, subject to the availability of funds.
  2. Residents of outlying regions, such as those in disadvantaged and isolated communities, may receive payments in two equal instalments for the entire program’s six-month duplication from other databases. These payments are subject to the approval of the Secretary.
  3. The schedule of distribution of the Targeted Community Transformation (TCT) program is set by the Inter-agency Committee. In the event that the availability of funds prevents the program from being delivered on time, the IAC may make changes to the schedule.
  4. The cash grants should be distributed to the beneficiaries through the LBP cash card or their preferred transactional accounts within the second week or month following the TCT payroll period. This circular applies to the cash grants issued under this program. However, due to the system capacity of the LBP, the availability of funds may be subject to change.
  5. The list of TCT beneficiaries that the DSWD has certified should be forwarded to the LBP. Once the LBP receives the list, it will immediately start distributing the cash grants.

Mode of Payment

The DSWD and/or LBP may distribute TCT cash grants through any combination of following modes:

  • LBP Cash Card;
  • Crediting to other subsisting LBP Accounts;
  • Crediting by LBP for payment to subsisting other bank accounts, as submitted by the beneficiaries to the DSWD, via Instapay or PESOnet;
  • Procured services of financial intermediaries, including but not limited to the following:
    • Banks (including but not limited to: BDO, BPI, and other banking institutions);
    • Non-bank financial institutions (including but not limited to licensed electronic money issuers such as GCash, Paymaya, Starpay, etc.); and
    • Remittance centers.
  • Direct payout through DSWD Special Disbursing Officers (SDO)
  • The LBP cash card is the preferred mode of payment for cash grants. The organization will ensure that the number of cards produced is aligned with the number of beneficiaries according to the provisions of this circular. The payment methods (A through D) enumerated earlier will be subject to a separate memorandum of agreement-implementing guidelines.

Validation Process

DSWD offices’ list of eligible applicants will undergo a validation process. This process will involve the deduplication of 2 checks and eligibility verification.

The appointed offices will perform the eligibility check and certify the application. On the other hand, the deduplication check will be conducted by the UCT-NPMO for select beneficiaries as provided by the official memorandum and the rest by the NHTO. These offices will also seek technical assistance from the ICTMS.

DISBURSEMENT through LBP Cash Cards

The database owner must prepare the TCT cash card’s payroll and submit the necessary documents to the cluster head of operations to ensure eligible beneficiaries. These documents are required to be approved by the DSWD, NEDA, and DBM.


The Field Offices shall facilitate the payout for those beneficiaries without LBP cash cards through the SDO.

To facilitate the release of funds through the issuance of Sub-allotment Release Orders and Notices of Transfer of Allocation, the following documents must be submitted:

1. An approved list of payroll that is compliant with Section VIII of this Circular; and

2. A fund request approved by the concerned Cluster Head.

Infographic of DSWD TCT Program

Check out this cool infographic which simplifies the process of understanding what this TCT project is all about:

Special Guidelines for the Implementation of the Targeted Cash Transfer (TCT) Program Under the Protective Services for Individuals And Families in Especially Difficult Circumstances (PSIF)

Here is the memorandum detailing the special guidelines for implementing the Targeted Cash Transfer (TCT) program under the PSIF.


Video: 1st tranche ng targeted cash transfer, natanggap na ng ilang beneficiary | Saksi

In this video, we see a report of some beneficiaries receiving the first tranche of targeted cash transfers (TCTs) from the DSWD. The government’s targeted cash transfer program aims to provide financial support to the poorest households in the country. It was launched to mitigate the effects of rising fuel prices.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When was the TCT program approved?

In April 2022, President Rodrigo Duterte issued an executive order aimed at implementing the targeted cash transfer program. Various government agencies were tasked with overseeing and implementing the program.

2. How much was the proposed budget for the TCT program?

The DBM approved the release of a special allotment order for the Targeted Cash Transfer Program amounting to PHP4.1 billion.

3. How long will the cash program run?

The DSWD will distribute cash grants of up to PHP3,000 or PHP500 per month to individuals under the TCT Program. These grants will be provided for up to six months.

4. What is the difference between the TCT and UCT programs of the DSWD?

UCT provides qualified beneficiaries cash grants computed at Two Hundred Pesos (PhP 200.00) per month for the first year of implementation, and at Three Hundred Pesos (PhP 300.00) per month for each succeeding year of implementation whereas the TCT provides qualified beneficiaries cash grant of up to PHP3,000 or PHP500 per month for six months.

5. How will the cash grants be distributed under the TCT program?

The DSWD has released the guidelines for the distribution of cash grants under the Targeted Cash Transfer Program. These guidelines were issued through a joint memorandum circular between the agency, NEDA, DBM, and Finance.


The DSWD Targeted Cash Transfer (TCT) is one of the agency’s programs that aims to provide financial support to the poorest households in the country. It was launched to mitigate the effects of inflation and rising fuel prices.

This is exclusive only to the list determined by the DSWD of the poorest households in the country. Only these households are qualified to receive the first tranche of targeted cash transfers (TCT’s) from the DSWD.

We hope this article has given you a better understanding of the DSWD TCT and how it works.

how to apply unconditional cash transfer program of dswd

How to Apply DSWD Unconditional Cash Transfer Program

The DSWD Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) Program is a social protection initiative of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). The program provides cash transfers, with no conditions attached, to qualified poor households during emergencies and natural disasters. This aid aims to ensure that families affected by sudden events have access to basic needs such as food, shelter, healthcare, or education expenses. It also helps them recover from the financial losses caused by unexpected and unavoidable circumstances.

Also Read: What is DSWD AICS Program – Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations

UCT grants are usually provided on an emergency basis depending on the severity of the event. To qualify for this grant, households must meet certain criteria set by DSWD based on their socio-economic status. These include being members of vulnerable groups such as indigenous peoples or persons with disabilities and having incomes below the poverty threshold.

When taxes come to mind, more often than not, the response would be that taxes are a burden and everyone hates them. However, when we look at our taxes as a form of public service, there is no way to avoid the fact that taxes are necessary for the well-being of society.

That being said, did you know that one of the biggest tax reform mitigation programs under the TRAIN Law is the DSWD Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) Program? Yes, there is a great benefit to the TRAIN Law than what simply meets the eye. In this guide, we will provide you with an overview of the DSWD-UCT Program, its objectives, coverage, eligibility requirements and much more.

how to apply unconditional cash transfer program of dswd

What is the DSWD Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) Program?

The UCT is the biggest mitigation program for the tax reform passed by the TRAIN Law. It provides cash grants to low-income families and individuals who are not able to benefit from the lower tax rates.

The DSWD launched the Unconditional Cash Transfer program in 2013 to provide cash assistance to families in extreme poverty. Through this program, the government provides financial support to help individuals and families in need.

The objective of the UCT program is to reduce vulnerability and poverty by providing cash transfers to eligible families. It is a key component of the Philippine government’s strategy to reduce poverty.

This is great news for millions of families who are struggling to get by. It is also good news for the economy as cash transfers help boost consumption and reduce the incidence of poverty in the Philippines.

The Cash Transfer Program is a government program that provides financial assistance to low-income families. It is designed to help them meet their basic needs.

The DSWD is responsible for administering the program. It is responsible for identifying and distributing cash grants to eligible families.

There are two key features of the DSWD UCT program: (a) the cash transfer is provided every month, and (2) the cash transfer is provided without strings attached. This means that families can use the money for whatever they want.

While this might seem like a recipe for abuse, research shows that the program has been very effective in helping poor families. For example, a study by the World Bank found that cash transfers reduced poverty rates by between 20% and 30%.

The UCT will reach 10 million households/individuals. This figure includes 4.4 million Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries. By 2018, the DSWD will have provided cash cards to 1.8 million users. The remaining 2.6 million families will be chosen from the Listahanan, which will be vetted to guarantee that individuals who would benefit from the UCT program are from the lowest 1st to 7th income deciles, as specified by the relevant legislation.

Legal Bases

Here are the laws and circulars that were passed to put the UCT in place:

  • Republic Act 10963 (TRAIN Law) – The Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) legislation, also known as Republic Act No. 10963, was approved by the Senate and House of Representatives in Congress (i.e. legislative) and signed by the President for the compliance of all Filipino people. This legislation is commonly known as the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) legislation. The President has tasked the Department of Finance with its smooth implementation and the Bureau of Internal Revenue will be releasing implementing rules and regulations as well as advisory to provide details and clarify how the TRAIN’s revisions will be applied.
  • Republic Act 10964 (GAA 2018) – The Philippines’ Republic Act 10964 provides for the establishment of a fund for the operation of the government. It is intended to provide for the establishment of a fund for the maintenance of public services.
  • Department of Finance, Department of Budget and Management, and Department of Social Welfare and Development Joint Circular No. 2018 – 001
  • Republic Act 7432 – The Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act of 2010 (RA 10963) was enacted to provide a comprehensive package of tax reforms that will help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the tax system. It aims to provide a more equitable distribution of resources to the people. It also aims to ensure that the government can provide for the needs of the people through the establishment of more effective infrastructure and social protection.
  • The Departments of Social Welfare and Development and the other agencies that are mandated to implement the provisions of Republic Act 10963 (RA 10963) on the identification and implementation of social welfare programs and benefits should come up with a joint memorandum circular that provides a comprehensive list of guidelines and procedures.
  • The implementing rules and regulations of each program are prepared by the agency or department with the mandate to carry out the program. These documents are attached to the Joint Monitoring Committee’s (JMC) transparency and accountability listing.
  • DSWD Memorandum Circular No.3 series of 2018 – The government’s comprehensive tax reform program aims to improve the tax system’s efficiency and equity to promote investment, reduce poverty, and create jobs. It complements ongoing economic, budget, and customs reforms to improve food security, simplify regulations, and secure property rights.
  • The first of five tax reform packages were presented to Congress. Among the key measures is the reduction of personal income tax, broadening the value-added tax base, and removing various exemptions. These reforms are also expected to increase the excise on oil products, automobiles, and sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • The tax reform program aims to reduce the effects of increasing prices on the poor and vulnerable by implementing social mitigation measures. One of the most effective measures that the government has used to implement this strategy is the UCT.
  • The UCT provides cash grants to the poor and individuals who may not be able to benefit from the lower tax rates. It also aims to help vulnerable individuals and households affected by rising prices.


There is much to be said about how the DSWD’s UCT program can benefit its target populations:

The UCT program uses two separate approaches to alleviating poverty through the following:

  1. Providing financial aid to low-income families offers these households the much-required support they need to make ends meet.
  2. Since the cash grant may be used for anything, recipients can spend the money on whatever they feel is most suitable for them, given the grant’s flexibility. Because of this, they can make food purchases, pay their bills for utilities, and even start a small business.

In addition to reducing the effects of poverty, the UCT program also helps to bring about a more equitable distribution of social resources. This is because the cash awards are designed for low-income families, who have a higher risk of being poor and hence are more likely to need assistance.

The Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) Program will be implemented for three years. For 2018, families will receive P200 a month, while the annual payment will be P2,400. This has been increased to P300 in 2019 and 2020, amounting to P3,600 annually.

There is a narrowing of the wealth gap between these families and other households due to the provision of financial aid to these families.


So, “who are those qualified for this program?”, you may ask.

Participants in the following groups will be eligible to receive cash transfers under the Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) Program:

– Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program households (4Ps Households)

– Recipients of the Social Pension Program, as specified by Republic Act No. 7432, generally referred to as the Senior Citizens Act, and as updated by Republic Acts Nos. 9257 and 9994 (Social Pension Beneficiaries)

– Any additional low-income households included in the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) database, provided that they are ranked somewhere between the first and seventh deciles of expected income.

Families must fulfill the following requirements to be eligible for the DSWD UCT program

  • Households must live in areas identified as poverty hotspots by the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB).
  • Families are unable to get other types of government financial assistance, such as 4Ps and the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).
  • To establish their identity and address, households must have a valid identification card, such as a driver’s license or passport.
  • Additional low-income households are included in the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) database if their predicted income falls between the first and seventh deciles (NHTS-PR Households).
  • Unpaid taxes or utility bills must be the only outstanding debts between families and the government.


Here is the list of documentary requirements for those who qualify for the program:

  • A photocopy of any acceptable ID (such as a GSIS UMID or voter’s ID)
  • 2×2 ID photo
  • properly completed Form for Know-Your-Customer (KYC) (from LBP)
  • Payouts made over the counter:

For grantees who will be in person:

  • Valid ID (if no valid ID, Barangay Certification with Full Name, Birthdate, and Mother’s Name is acceptable)
  • Certificate of Name Discrepancy (for beneficiaries whose names appear differently on their valid ID than on their payroll).

For Authorized Representatives

  • Grantees who, owing to unforeseen circumstances, are unable to attend payout should contact their authorized representative (e.g., medical condition, working away)
  • Valid ID of the Grantee (or, in the absence of a valid ID, a Barangay Certification confirming the Full Name, Date of Birth, and Mother’s Name)
  • Valid ID of the authorized representative (or, in the absence of a valid ID, a barangay certification with the representative’s full name, birthdate, and mother’s name)
  • Letter of Permission

Deceased Grantees

  • In the absence of a legitimate ID, the grantee must present a barangay certification that includes their full name, date of birth, and mother’s name.
  • In the absence of a valid ID, the barangay certification must include the authorized representative’s full name, date of birth, and mother’s name.
  • Any document proving the dead grantee’s connection to the designated representative (such as a marriage certificate or birth certificate).
  • Special Power of Attorney or Proof Authority.

How to Claim DSWD Unconditional Cash Transfer Program

Step 1: Visit the nearest DSWD office in your area.

Step 2: Fill out an application form and submit it to the DSWD office in your area if you are interested in applying for the DSWD Unconditional Cash Transfer program.

The DSWD website provides access to the application form that must be completed.

Step 3: DSWD welfare officers will assess your application and once approved, will disburse the cash aid.

Video: Editor’s Cut – DSWD Unconditional Cash Transfer

Here’s a video clip highlighting the launch of the DSWD launches UCT-SOCPEN program in Cavite. The UCT-SOCPEN program of the DSWD provides cash grants to low-income families in the Philippines. It aims to cushion the effects of the TRAIN Law on the consumption of basic commodities.

The program provides monthly cash assistance worth Php 200 to Php 300, which can be used to buy food, medicine and other necessities. The program aims to provide families with a safety net during times of hardship.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are unrestricted cash transfers effective?

Unconditional cash transfers, according to supporters, are an effective technique for fighting poverty. They show that such transfers may increase annual household expenditure by 0.35 per transfer unit. Furthermore, they propose that cash transfers may reduce inequality and provide a safety net for society’s most vulnerable members.

2. What is the goal of the unconditional cash transfer program?

The Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Unconditional Financial Transfer program is a government subsidy that provides financial assistance to qualified low-income households.

The program is designed to help people satisfy basic needs, including food, shelter, and clothing. Furthermore, it provides a safety net for families trying to make ends meet. The cash are deposited into the recipient’s bank account and may be used anyway they see fit.

3. What are the benefits of money transfers?

There are various cash transfer methods, each with its own set of benefits. Some programs, for example, offer a one-time payment to help with the expense of an unexpected requirement, such as a medical bill or car repair.

Others make periodic donations to help with expenses like rent and food. Nonetheless, some provide both one-time and periodic payments, enabling recipients to utilize the cash as they see fit.

Whatever kind of cash transfer program you pick, you can be assured that the benefits will far outweigh the costs.

4. What is the cost of unconditional cash transfer?

The Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Unconditional Financial Transfer program is a government subsidy that provides financial assistance to qualified low-income households. The program is designed to help people satisfy basic needs, including food, shelter, and clothing. Furthermore, it provides a safety net for families trying to make ends meet. The cash is deposited into the recipient’s bank account and may be used any way they see fit. There are no strings attached to the money, so recipients are free to spend it any way they see fit.

5. Can a Social Pension beneficiary receive a separate UCT grant?

A Social Pension beneficiary may receive a separate UCT Cash Grant if he or she belongs to a household with a 4Ps or NHTS-PR household.

6. When will the DSWD determine beneficiaries?

The DSWD will begin identifying and determining beneficiaries at the start of the financial year. Even though a beneficiary may be affected by supervening events, such as the death of a Social Pensioner before the grant’s payout date, they will still be entitled to the cash grants.

7. What does the DSWD do with UCT Funds?

The DSWD collaborated with other agencies, such as the DOF and the DBM, to implement the UCT program. The circular states that the funds will be deposited with the Land Bank of the Philippines and used in accordance with the agency’s operational guidelines. To minimize administrative expenses, the DSWD will give cash grants on a yearly basis.

8. What is UCT tax?

The Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) Program is a component of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law that provides cash subsidies to the poor to help them cushion the effects of the program. It is considered the biggest mitigation program of the tax reform law. Under the program, 10 million individuals receive monthly cash subsidies of P200.

9. Who are the first beneficiaries of the UCT?

The first beneficiaries of the UCT are the Pantawid households with Land Bank cash cards and those who access their benefits over the counter. Under the TRAIN law, the total number of Filipino households and individuals who will receive the UCT is 10 million.

10. Why is DSWD shifting to cash cards for senior citizens?

To ensure the safety and welfare of senior citizens, the DSWD has started implementing a cash-card program for the distribution of social pension benefits and uncashed transfers.

11. What will be the impact of the TRAIN law?

In the first three months of 2018, the national government was able to boost the amount of money it brought in by 16.4%. This was made possible in part by the law known as TRAIN. According to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), TRAIN increased by Php12.5 billion in total tax revenue. According to news sources, there was a reduction in income from value-added tax (VAT) of three billion, although there were profits of four point seven three million from petroleum excise tax.


With the help of the DSWD’s Unconditional Cash Transfer Program, many Filipinos were able to afford basic needs. This includes food, clothing, and shelter. The program has been in effect for only three years since its introduction and has proven itself as an effective way for the government to help those in need.