The Field Office 9 is currently preparing for the upcoming notification and registration of 105,972 households as eligible beneficiaries of the Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) program.

“As of now, we are finalizing the budgetary requirements to be submitted to Central Office for the implementation of the notification, registration, and payout of the Listahanan – UCT beneficiaries next month,” said Fe L. Dela Cruz, Policy and Plans Division (PPD) Chief.

Earlier this year, the National Household Targeting Unit (NHTU) conducted a validation activity in the entire region to 147,498 target households wherein 117,520 were successfully validated. On the contrary, those that were not validated either had no qualified respondents (at least 15 years of age); households could not be located anymore; family members have already transferred to other areas, or households were totally vacant after three visits were made.

According to Dela Cruz, a statistical model called Proxy Means Test (PMT) was run to identify the potential beneficiaries of the said program. The system was able to estimate family per capita income based on household data collected from validation. After income was estimated, households were accordingly classified as poor or non-poor, applying the official poverty thresholds of the region.

To be exact, there are 4,531 eligible household-beneficiaries in Isabela City, Basilan, 32,310 for Zamboanga del Norte, 49,803 for Zamboanga del Sur, and 19,328 for Zamboanga Sibugay, who will automatically be part of the notification activity next month.

Dela Cruz added that a number of field workers (notifiers) will be deployed throughout the region who will be serving the notice to all identified beneficiaries. The assigned notifier will hand-over the notification form to the beneficiary as a proof that their household has been selected as a recipient of the UCT program.

Furthermore, it will also be explained to the beneficiary that he or she is entitled to receive cash grant amounting to P200 per month (P2,400/year) in 2018 and P300 per month (P3,600/year) in the next two years based on the provisions of the Republic Act No. 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

During the notification stage, the beneficiary will be informed regarding the documentary requirements (accomplished cash card enrolment form, 3 pcs. 2×2 colored photos, notification form), location, date, and time of the scheduled registration in order to be enrolled to a Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) cash card account.

On the other hand, there will be two modes of registration activities that will be managed by the field office. For Geographically-Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA), the personnel from the regional office will facilitate in barangays under GIDA the registration process by collecting all the accomplished forms provided during the notification activity and log the documents submitted to them. Meanwhile, for Non-GIDA, the personnel will hold the registration in an area accessible to the beneficiaries in coordination with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Philippine National Police (PNP). After the registration, the beneficiaries will be informed of the target schedule and venue for payout.

The UCT program is one of the social mitigating measures identified in TRAIN Law which seeks to reduce the impact of increase in prices of products affected by the tax reform, therefore, protecting the economic welfare of the poor (and vulnerable) who will not benefit from lower income taxes but rather will be adversely affected by the rising prices.  ###