Philippine Government Benefits for Middle Class

By Mommy Donna and Kib - February 10, 2021

These days, one of the issues that the Filipinos are raising is the benefits that a Filipino taxpayer can receive from the government.

As a middle class, it made me think if we have never received any form of benefits from the government even before the quarantine. I had private discussions about this with friends and poured out grievances about the system. We came to an agreement that there is indeed a need to change the system so that those who deserve the benefits from the government will receive it more than those who do not.

Government benefits may vary from each city or municipality too, but there are benefits that ALL FILIPINOS can avail regardless of the social status.

While there are government programs only solely for those who are in the marginalized sector, there are other benefits that we can avail of even if we do not belong to that category.

I made a research on what government benefits can everybody receive regardless of social class, and I was able to list 17 benefits. There may be other benefits that are not on the list, so the important key here is that it pays to inquire and to know.

1. Free vaccination to babies up to age 5. The mandatory basic immunization that we can avail for free are the following: 

  • Tuberculosis
  • Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis
  • Poliomyelitis
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella or German measles
  • Hepatitis-B
  • H. Influenza type B (HIB)
In addition, school-aged children studying in public schools can also avail of free vaccination. This program of the Department of Health is to provide a catch-up immunization should a child misses a vaccination. The vaccines available for school-aged children are measles and rubella up to Grade 7 and booster doses of tetanus and diphtheria for Grades 1 and 7.

How to avail: Go to your barangay to know the schedules of the vaccination.

2. Free anti-rabies and discounted vaccines and deworming for dogs. The Philippine government aims for a rabies-free country. The Anti-Rabies Act of 2007 requires all LGUs to ensure that all pets under their jurisdiction are immunized with anti-rabies vaccine.

In addition, the veterinary office in your city or municipality may also offer other services, such as free castration/spaying, discounted vaccines, and discounted (or even free) deworming.

On the other hand, if you were a victim of an animal bite, you can also get anti-rabies treatment for free! Go to Animal Bite Center near you to avail of it.

How to avail: Simply go to the veterinary office in your city or municipality to avail of an anti-rabies vaccine for your dog.

3. Free public school education for basic education (K-12). Yes, education is free in the Philippines, if you choose to enroll your child in a public school.

There are 3,149 public schools that offer preschool to Level 6 programs. You may check out the public schools in the municipality or city you live in. 

Presently, there are 5,965 public schools offering Senior High School all over the country. To know the tracks offered by a public school near you, you may check out DepEd's list HERE. The list contains public and private schools offering Senior High School program.

Moreover, there are public schools that offer special education (Sped) to our children with special needs. 

In addition, some cities and municipalities also provide school supplies to all the children enrolled in a public school.

How to avail: It's easy to enroll in a public school! There is an early registration which usually occurs in February or March. Kindly prepare a birth certificate in PSA paper and credentials (if any). For other requirements, you may inquire with the public school you intend to enroll your child.

4. Free education in state-owned colleges and universities. The Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act (also known as Republic Act 10931) signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2017 institutionalizes free tuition and exemption from other fees in all state universities and colleges (SUCs) and local universities and colleges (LUCs) in the Philippines. This law is beneficial to underprivileged Filipino students a chance to earn a college degree.

Before this law, a lot of Filipino students cannot afford to go to college due to its high cost. The tuition fees at state colleges and universities vary, depending on the financial status of the student. With this law, as long as the student is enrolled at a state-owned university or college, you can study for FREE.

How to avail: To enroll, one must be a Senior High School graduate and must submit credentials. One must also pass the entrance test (if any).

5. Free ambulance service (if available in your barangay, city, or municipality). Some municipalities, cities, and barangays have an ambulance to be used in emergency cases. 

You may also opt to give snacks to the ambulance driver and gasoline allowance as your way of saying thanks for the assistance.

How to avail: You may contact your barangay or municipal hospital if the ambulance is available. 

6. PCSO medical assistance. The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) is offering medical assistance to Filipinos. PCSO issues guaranty letter to the partner-hospital or medical facility which indicates the amount of medical assistance it will provide to an individual.

Seeking financial assistance from PCSO is a bit tedious process, but despite the presentation of requirements and lining up, it's worth it. 

How to avail: to know the scope of medical assistance and requirements, you may check it HERE.

7. Free burial assistance (depending on the municipality or city). The passing of a loved one can also be costly. Some municipalities and cities offer free burial assistance to the family, which includes the coffin, the chapel, and a space in the public cemetery. Sometimes, even the food given during the wake is also provided.

If you wish not to avail of the burial assistance, you can still opt to bury your loved one at the public cemetery. Space is leased for five years.

How to avail: go to the municipal or city hall (Social Welfare and Development) to inquire about this benefit, or if your municipality or city hall offers it to their constituents.

8. Free cataract surgery (depending on the municipality or city). Yes, cataract surgery can also be free in some municipalities and cities in the Philippines. The only requirement is that the person undergoing cataract surgery should be a Philhealth member.

Please note, however, that you need to pay extra if you opt to have a lens upgrade.

How to avail: go to the municipal or city hall to inquire. This service is usually under the Urban Poor Affairs Office but it can vary from each municipality or city.

9. Senior Citizen benefits. Everything that is stipulated on Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 (RA 9994) such as discounts, income tax exemption, free medical and dental services in government facilities, free flu and pneumococcal vaccinations, express lanes, free movie theater tickets, and scholarship should they wish to go back to school to study. In addition to that, senior citizens with no Philhealth registration can register and avail of hospitalization benefits under Philhealth. 

Some cities and municipalities where the senior citizen is residing may also get additional benefits, like Christmas and birthday gifts and allowances.

How to avail: Get a senior citizen ID at OSCA (Office of Senior Citizen Affairs) at the municipal or city hall to start enjoying benefits. Always present senior citizen ID to avail of the benefit.
10. Free certificate courses at TESDA. You can study at TESDA for free, both online and offline classes. If you wish to enrol at their offline classes, check the location of TESDA near your residence (check it here) and for the available courses in that branch.

For the online courses, go to to know the online courses available. You can take online courses anytime.

After finishing a course at TESDA and if you wish to be certified, you need to take exams and pay the fee for the certification. The fee is minimal only.

The beauty of enrolling at TESDA is that they also have employment assistance, both local and abroad.

How to avail: Go to the TESDA office near you for offline courses and the schedule and register at for online courses. Submit high school credentials to enroll at offline courses.

11. Individuals with businesses categorized as MSME (micro, small, and medium enterprise). Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) also offers assistance to business owners.  Under Go Negosyo Act (Republic Act 10644), business owners are entitled to receive assistance in growing their business. You can know more about the assistance that a business owner can receive HERE.

Please note, however, not all training and seminars that DTI is conducting are free but rest assured that the paid training are worth every centavo.

How to avail: Contact Bureau of Small and Medium Enterprise (BSMED) to know more.

12.  Free seeds and training from the Department of Agriculture. The Bureau of Plant Industry is providing free seeds if you want to start a vegetable garden. The free seeds are usually distributed during their events. You may check their Facebook page for the event schedule and distribution of free seeds.

In addition, the Agricultural Training Institute offers free training to those people who are interested to know more about agriculture (e.g. organic vegetable farming, mushroom culture, fish farming, coconut farming, etc.). You may check their Facebook page or website for the schedule.

How to avail: Check the Facebook pages of the Bureau of Plant Industry and Department of Agriculture for the free seeds distribution and training schedules.

13.  Government scholarships. Not all scholarships given by the government are designed for the poor. Some scholarships granted are based on merit (if the student did well in academics), skills or talent, and on the course or degree the child is taking in college. 

How to avail: You may check out DOST-SEI, OWWA, CHED, CAAP, and GSIS for the scholarship programs that they provide annually. You may also check the scholarships granted by politicians.

14.  Free surgery (depending on the municipality or city). Cataract surgery, circumcision, cleft palate, etc. can also be availed for free! Free circumcision surgery is usually done during April or May, so check out the announcement from your LGU if they will have that kind of campaign. For cataract surgery, it is a year-round project, but you have to inquire about the next schedule so you will be able to know the requirements. Sometimes, cleft palate surgery can also be done by the LGU but this is on an occasional basis.

There might be other free surgeries given by the LGU, please keep updated about these programs so you can avail of them for free.

Please note, however, that should there be any upgrades on the original package, the patient has to pay for it.

How to avail: Please keep yourself informed of the project by checking out your LGU's website or social media accounts. You may also opt to drop by the city or municipal hall every now and then to know the upcoming projects. 

15. Free tuberculosis laboratory tests and medicine. 

Tuberculosis is considered one of the major health problems in the Philippines. According to the reports of the Department of Health (DOH), tuberculosis is the sixth cause of death in the country. Our government is persistent in fighting the spread of this disease by providing tuberculosis treatment centers all over the country.

How to avail: Please go to the DOH-retained hospitals and TB-DOTS center all over the Philippines. In addition, Philhealth has medical packages for tuberculosis patients, provided that the patient is under TB-DOTS program.

16. Free HIV testing and treatment. 

Republic Act 11166 is called the "Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act" which was passed in 2019. This law paves the way for free HIV treatment and related illnesses in the country. It also includes that HIV/AIDS treatment and care should be included in the universal health care under Philhealth. Denial of health, accident, and life insurance coverage for those people with HIV/AIDS is against the law.

How to avail: Some private clinics offer free HIV testing, you may refer to When In Manila's article for the list of clinics in Metro Manila. You may also inquire with your city or municipality's health office for HIV testing and treatment. 

17. Other special assistance. 

Some benefits may be considered as minimal like a free tent and chair rentals for the wake and private events such as birthday parties and baptisms, mass weddings, among others. 

How to avail: Go to your barangay, city hall, or municipal hall to inquire about these benefits.

The purpose of this blog is to let people know that there are benefits that we can avail even if we do not belong to the poverty line. It is all about inquiring and knowing these benefits. These things won't come on a silver platter. Go to your barangay, city hall, or municipal hall to seek assistance. As long as you are a voter of that place, they would give you all the help that you need. Do not hesitate to seek help; anyway, that is where our taxes go.

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