Philippine economy

P1,000 cash aid to be given to 9.3 million households as inflation stays high

Ralf Rivas

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

P1,000 cash aid to be given to 9.3 million households as inflation stays high

FISH. Consumers buy fish at the Agora Public Market in San Juan City, February 21, 2023.

Jire Carreon/Rappler

The Marcos administration is also forming a Cabinet-level inflation panel to rein in prices and avoid late imports

MANILA, Philippines – The Marcos administration is set to release cash aid of P1,000 each to 9.3 million households as inflation remains stubbornly high.

In a Palace briefing on Tuesday, March 7, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the funds will be available “in a few days or a few weeks.”

The Targeted Cash Transfer program had been launched by the Duterte administration in 2022 and gave households P500 for six months until January 2023.

Diokno said the cash aid, alongside other targeted subsidies in the pipeline, would cost the government P26.6 billion. 

Diokno’s announcement came as the Philippine Statistics Authority reported that inflation marginally eased to 8.6% in February from January’s 8.7%. The PSA attributed the slight easing to transport costs increasing at a slower pace.

Meanwhile, inflation for the poorest or bottom 30% income households remained elevated at 9.7%.

Must Read

[ANALYSIS] Ano’ng magagawa ni Marcos kontra inflation? Marami.

[ANALYSIS] Ano’ng magagawa ni Marcos kontra inflation? Marami.
Adding fuel to the fire

Rappler columnist and economist JC Punongbayan questioned the government’s plan to give out cash aid. The program may not even be as “targeted” as it seems.

“Diokno’s plan to provide ayuda or inflation assistance across a huge swathe of the population will likely stoke inflation even more, countering the BSP’s (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) efforts to tame inflation via interest rate hikes. It will be like pouring fuel over a blazing fire,” Punongbayan said.

Punongbayan went on to explain that while inflation went down to 8.6% in February, core inflation – which excludes volatile items like food and petroleum – is still rising. Core inflation increased to 7.8% in February, the highest since March 1999’s 8.1%.

“This suggests that inflation right now is largely demand-driven,” Punongbayan said.

Cabinet-level inflation panel

In the same briefing, Diokno announced that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is creating an inter-agency committee that would zero in on inflation and market movements to avoid late imports of essential goods.

“Minsan mali ‘yung timing kasi magdedesisyon ka mag-import tapos darating dito sa atin tamang-tama nag-aani na ang farmers, so umaangal talaga sila,” Diokno said.

(Sometimes the timing is wrong because the imports we decide to bring in arrive just when farmers are harvesting, so it’s understandable that the farmers will complain.)

The committee will include members of the budget and management, trade and industry, agriculture, energy, and science and technology departments.

The BSP and PSA were also tapped to be part of the committee.

Diokno said the government will have an “agriculture monitoring dashboard” which would show prices of goods as well as supply and demand of key commodities. (READ: 42% of Filipinos disapprove of Marcos gov’t response to inflation – survey) –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!
Tie, Accessories, Accessory


Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.