DSWD Targeted Cash Transfer (TCT) Program

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the Philippines runs an initiative called the Targeted Cash Transfer (TCT). This initiative is part of the government’s commitment to support underprivileged Filipino families by providing them with financial aid. Implemented with the intent to minimize poverty, the initiative ensures that beneficiaries receive PHP 500 monthly for six months.

Credits: DSWD / Facebook

Significance of the Program

This DSWD initiative holds considerable significance as it aims to cushion the blow for those hardest hit by economic challenges. By providing targeted financial assistance, it helps families meet basic needs and supports them in making positive steps towards self-sufficiency and improved living conditions.

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Legal Basis

The project operates under the guidance of legislative measures such as the Republic Act 10963 or TRAIN Law. It ensures that the implementation is transparent, systematic, and adheres to the legal framework established by the government.

Comparing DSWD Cash Transfer Programs: UCT, MCCT, and TCT

In the pursuit of social welfare and development, the DSWD has engineered various cash transfer programs to cater to the diverse needs of the Filipino people. These initiatives, while sharing a common goal of poverty alleviation, are distinct in their approach and target beneficiaries. Let’s examine the differences among the Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT), Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT), and Targeted Cash Transfer (TCT) programs more closely.

Eligibility Criteria

  • UCT was designed for the poorest households as identified through Listahanan, a national household targeting system.
  • MCCT targets homeless families, indigenous peoples in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDA), and families that require special protection.
  • TCT focuses on poor households that are not beneficiaries of existing projects or have specific vulnerabilities that need immediate attention.


  • UCT has no conditionalities, making the aid unconditional and more accessible.
  • MCCT requires partial compliance with health and educational activities, integrating welfare improvements with the aid.
  • TCT also has no conditionalities, similar to UCT, which allows for immediate relief without prerequisites.

Amount and Duration

  • UCT provided PHP 200 per month in 2018 and PHP 300 per month from 2019 to 2020, with variations according to the TCT program’s design.
  • MCCT offers variable amounts based on project specifics and family size.
  • TCT also varies but is typically designed around the immediate needs arising from specific situations.


  • UCT’s objective was to reduce poverty and vulnerability across the board.
  • MCCT aims to support particular vulnerable groups and transition them to regular programs for sustained support.
  • TCT is implemented to mitigate temporary economic shocks and address specific vulnerabilities.

Funding Source and Implementation

  • UCT was funded through the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.
  • MCCT pulls from various funding sources, depending on the targeted initiative.
  • TCT uses general appropriations or specific funding sources, often reactive to current events.

Additional Notes

  • The UCT ended in 2020, but MCCT is an ongoing initiative.
  • TCT is enacted as required, responsive to particular circumstances like economic downturns or natural disasters.
  • MCCT, with its focus on vulnerable groups, may encompass additional assistance, such as skills training or livelihood projects, beyond mere cash transfers.

It’s crucial to recognize the distinct nature of each:

  • UCT was a broad-reaching project, providing a safety net to the poorest without prerequisites.
  • MCCT is more targeted, designed to uplift and integrate specific vulnerable sectors into the mainstream with conditional support.
  • TCT is a strategic intervention, triggered by situational factors to provide immediate relief to affected populations.

Each initiative represents a different strand of the DSWD’s social safety net, tailored to the evolving challenges faced by Filipinos. Understanding these distinctions empowers individuals and communities to seek out the support that aligns with their circumstances, ensuring that the aid received is both relevant and effective.


Each qualified household is entitled to receive PHP 3000 spread over six months (PHP 500 per month). This monetary assistance can be utilized for various expenses, be it educational, medical, or daily sustenance.


Eligibility / Qualifications

Beneficiaries are selected based on the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR), focusing on those who fall below the poverty threshold. The scheme specifically targets the bottom 50% of the population, who are most in need of assistance.



Applicants must be Filipino citizens, at least 18 years old, and not currently benefitting from any other government financial aid. A total household income below the poverty line and an active search for employment or current enrollment in educational institutions are also necessary criteria.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Apply for DSWD TCT

  • Verify your eligibility against the NHTS-PR data.
  • Obtain and fill out the application form from the nearest DSWD office or download it from the DSWD website.
  • Submit the application form along with necessary documents to the DSWD office.
  • Attend the scheduled interview for further assessment.
  • If qualified, you will be informed about the payment method and schedule.


Mode of Payment

The payments are disbursed through the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) cash cards, LBP accounts, or through alternative channels like remittance centers, GCash, PayMaya, or direct payout by a DSWD special disbursing officer, depending on the availability and convenience in the area.


Success Stories / Recent Updates

DSWD Programs to Continue Amid Election Period in Western Visayas

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office VI in Western Visayas has received approval from the Commission on Elections to proceed with its assistance and services during the election period. Atty. Carmelo Nochete, the regional director of DSWD FO VI, expressed gratitude for the exemption, stating that these initiatives are for the benefit of the people. The approved initiatives include the subsidy for rice retailers, Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS), Food Stamp Program (FSP), and various other initiatives aimed at supporting the poor, vulnerable, and marginalized Filipinos.

Targeted Cash Transfer Program to Benefit Over 7 Million Filipinos

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is set to provide cash transfers to approximately 7.5 million beneficiaries through the Targeted Cash Transfer. With the approval of Php 7.6 billion in additional funds, each beneficiary will receive Php 1,000 for two months to help them cope with the ongoing effects of high inflation. The DSWD aims to implement the project efficiently and hopes that this funding will assist Filipinos in meeting their daily needs.

Government Releases Php 5.2 Billion for Targeted Cash Transfer Program

The government, through the Department of Budget and Management, has allocated Php 5.2 billion to support the Targeted Cash Transfer of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. This initiative aims to provide assistance to needy Filipino families, with approximately 9.8 million beneficiaries set to benefit from the program’s third phase. This initiative is part of the government’s efforts to alleviate the impact of rising fuel prices and other essential needs such as food.


Video: Pangandaman: Targeted cash transfer remains part of proposed 2024 budget

Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman confirmed that targeted cash transfers and social aid projects will remain part of the 2024 budget. With around P650 billion allocated for cash assistance schemes in 2023, including the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS), these programs are expected to continue providing support to beneficiaries. Pangandaman also mentioned the ongoing provision of medical assistance and other social cash assistance programs.



The initiative by DSWD is a commendable stride towards alleviating poverty in the Philippines. With its systematic approach and targeted assistance, it not only provides immediate financial relief but also fosters long-term economic stability for the beneficiaries. It is a ray of hope for many Filipino families, aiming to build a stronger, more resilient community.

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