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.
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.
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.
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:
- Providing financial aid to low-income families offers these households the much-required support they need to make ends meet.
- 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
- 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.