Landbank releases P60 billion in UCTs

Published April 30, 2021, 7:00 AM

by Chino S. Leyco

State-run Land Bank of the Philippines has released P60.36 billion in unconditional cash transfers (UCTs) last year to beneficiary-households of the social mitigation program under the tax reform for acceleration and inclusion act (TRAIN).

In a statement, Cecilia Borromeo, Landbank president and chief executive officer said the disbursements were from the program funds for UCT released from March 2018 up to December last year.

LandBank President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo

From March 2018 to December 2020, a total of P22.53 billion was disbursed to UCT beneficiaries, Borromeo said.

Another P23.71 billion under the FY 2019 UCT Program Funds was released from July 2019 to December 2020, and P14.12 billion from the 2020 UCT Program Fund  in December last year. 

Borromeo submitted report on the usage of the UCT funds transferred by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Bureau of the Treasury to Landbank to Senate President Vicente Sotto III. 

Under the TRAIN, up to 30 percent of the incremental revenues from the law is earmarked for social mitigation measures, such as the UCTs, while 7o percent is earmarked for President Duterte’s centerpiece program “Build, Build, Build.”

Republic Act (RA) No. 10963 or the TRAIN Law, which also slashed personal income tax (PIT) rates for 99 percent of salary earners, was implemented starting January 2018. 

RA 10963 benefits salary earners because the hefty cuts in their PIT tax payments translates into extra income for these taxpayers equivalent to about a one-month take-home pay.

This law also adjusted the excise taxes on fuel, which prompted the inclusion of the social mitigation program to ease the initial impact of the adjustments on the poorest 50 percent of the population. 

The UCT fund transferred to Landbank totaled P24.488  billion under the 2018 national budget. 

Another  P30.488 billion and P23.298 billion were transferred to Landbank for the UCT program under the 2019 and 2020 General Appropriations Act (GAAs), respectively. 

For 2018, the law provided a UCT of P2,400 each for some 10 million targeted households.  

For the succeeding years of 2019 and 2020, each beneficiary-household received P3,600. 

The UCT fund for 2018 of P24.488 billion covered the P24 billion in cash grants for 10 million beneficiaries. 

While P22.53 billion in UCT funds were disbursed, around  P1.47 billion has yet to be distributed because the LANDBANK is still waiting for the submission by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) of the remaining payroll files of beneficiaries under the UCT program.