DSWD sheds light on SAP issues during hearing

Officials of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), led by Undersecretary Danilo Pamonag, shed light on the issues raised by several legislators on the implementation of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) and other related issues during the hearing on June 22 at the House of Representatives.

Undersecretary Pamonag, in his presentation, mentioned the major responsibility of the Department in the implementation of the SAP.

“The major responsibility of the DSWD during the 1st tranche of the SAP was the transfer of the funds to the local government units (LGUs). The program was intended to assist the LGUs and provide them with the necessary resources in distributing the much-needed subsidy to the 18 million low income families,” Undersecretary Pamonag said.

“On April 2, the DBM (Department of Budget and Management) released an initial budget amounting to P100 billion to the DSWD. This was followed by another P96 billion pesos release on April 16. As early as April 3, the Department, through its Field Offices (FOs), started to transfer funds to LGUs,” the Undersecretary continued in response to the claim of the panel that DSWD started late in implementing the program.

DSWD further explained that, in the first tranche, it coordinated with LGUs for proper identification of the distribution area per barangay in each city and municipality.  LGUs, particularly the barangay officials, are the most knowledgeable on the total number of households, the number of family members and their health status, as well as the best approach to reach their residents without violating quarantine rules and other pertinent information on the ground.

Undersecretary Pamonag also mentioned the different efforts and initiatives of the Department to ensure the smooth implementation of the program such as the development of the Relief Agad App, the setting up of the Grievance Redress System,  and the establishment of the Operations Center for the SAP, among others.

Regarding the issue of alleged violation of the provision of Bayanihan To Heal As One Act, particularly on the coverage for the second tranche of the SAP,  the DSWD explained that Malacañang adopted the proposal of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) for the inclusion of additional five million families nationwide as beneficiaries of the SAP. This entails the recalibration of target beneficiaries for the second tranche. The areas under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) for the second month were considered, as indicated in Executive Order (EO) No. 112 on April 30 and in the Memorandum from the Executive Secretary on May 2.Undersecretary Pamonag emphasized that while some of the ECQ areas identified in the mentioned issuances have already transitioned to GCQ, they will still receive the SAP second tranche.

These areas include the National Capital Region, Benguet, Pangasinan, Region III (except Aurora Province), Region IV-A, Albay Province, Iloilo, Bacolod City, Cebu Province, Zamboanga City, and Davao City. 

In distributing the assistance, the Department will seek the assistance of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP). DSWD will also utilize the most expeditious means to provide the aid through electronic or digital means, cash cards, transfer of funds to other national government agencies, door-to-door, or direct cash payout mode that is compliant with the IATF safety protocols.

Meanwhile, several congresspersons also raised the issue on SAP and the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) being the same and creating confusion among beneficiaries.

Undersecretary for Operations, Aimee Torrefranca-Neri, who oversees the implementation of AICS, clarified that the two programs are distinct from each other.  She said that she issued a clarificatory memorandum cascaded to DSWD Regional Directors on the nature of each program.

SAP is a temporary assistance provided for under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act that extends P5,000 to P8,000 to 18 million low income families who have been most affected by the implementation of the community quarantine. AICS, on the other hand, is a regular program of the Department that provides financial, medical, burial, and educational assistance, based on assessment, to families and individuals experiencing crisis.

It was emphasized that a SAP beneficiary can still receive AICS based on the assessment of a social worker.

Undersecretary Neri also discussed the emergency subsidy for drivers, the deduplication process of SAP beneficiaries, and the digital payment modes being adopted to fast track the distribution of the assistance.

To date, P785.05 million has been distributed to 98,132 Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) and Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) drivers in the National Capital Region.  The ongoing deduplication process has generated more than 48,000 families receiving assistance more than once with 13,000 voluntarily returning the duplicate cash aid.  Meanwhile, in coordination with the Bangko Sentral, six service providers have been identified that are willing to help, for free, in the cashless disbursement of SAP.

Overall, the inquiry provided the opportunity for the Department to clarify and further explain the processes that were undertaken to ensure the integrity of the SAP. It also served as a venue to share the lessons learned during the implementation period.

As emphasized by the legislators that the objective of the probe was to come up with solutions, the Department expressed its full cooperation, within the bounds of law, to the house inquiry. ###

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DSWD, partners commemorate 31st Rano Massacre

(Digos City) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office XI, represented by OIC-Regional Director Grace Q. Subong and some members of the provincial operations office in Davao del Sur, participated in the commemoration activity of the 31st Rano Massacre.

As one of the members of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), the Department takes part in the whole-of-nation approach to address the root causes of communist armed conflict such as poverty, social inequality, and lack of inclusivity, among others.

“Along with the other agencies, we are one in remembering the lives of the members of the Bagobo-Tagabawa tribe who died in this ruthless massacre. We are committed to contribute to the nation’s peace-building efforts to prevent this from happening again,” Director Subong said.

Also present in the activity were Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy of the Presidential Communications Operation Office, some officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Information Agency (PIA), and the city government of Digos.

The Department distributed 600 family food packs to the families who were present during the commemoration activity. ###

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DSWD deploys social workers, provides needs of arriving individuals in Davao City

Davao City – To assist arriving locally stranded individuals (LSIs) and returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) in the city, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office XI has deployed social workers from the Protective Services Division (PSD) at the Davao City International Airport, Sasa International Seaport, and Davao City Overland Transport Terminal beginning June.

The social workers are present on all schedule of arrivals at the different ports and terminal to help assist and assess the needs of the individuals.

“We make sure that we coordinate with other agencies, so the efforts are always unified and in accordance with the set goals,” said Ms. Gemma D. Dela Cruz, OIC-Division Chief of the PSD.

The technical working group for arriving LSIs and ROFs has encouraged a coordinated effort among concerned agencies in the region.

“Our role in the Department is to assess the needs of the arriving LSIs and ROFs so we can provide them with appropriate assistance,” Ms. Dela Cruz added.

She also clarified that the assistance is not only limited to financial but also psychosocial, among others.

To date, a total of 353 LSIs received assistance from DSWD amounting to ₱799,000 for food and accommodation expenses. ###

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DSWD assures home delivery of centenarian cash gift

Amid the threat of COVID-19, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has adopted the house-to-house delivery scheme for the centenarian cash gift of Filipino citizens 100 years old and above, as stated under Republic Act (RA) No. 10868 or the Centenarians Act of 2016. 

DSWD is adopting this mode of delivering the cash incentives in cognizance of the centenarians’ health and physical limitations. The scheme is also more convenient for them and their relatives especially that the government encourages seniors to stay at home as part of health and safety protocols. 

To avail of the benefits under the law, relatives of the centenarians must submit primary documents such as birth certificates and Philippine passports to the city or municipal social welfare office (C/MSWDO) and the Office for Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) in their localities. 

If the two documents are not available, any one of the primary Identification Cards (IDs) is also accepted such as those issued by OSCA, Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), and Social Security System (SSS); driver’s license; Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) license; and Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Voter’s ID. 

Secondary documents may also be submitted such as marriage certificate either from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) or the Local Civil Registrar’s Office (LCRO); birth certificates of the children of the centenarian issued by the PSA or the LCRO; affidavits from two disinterested persons, aged 80 years who have personal knowledge of the centenarian’s age and birthdate; school and employment records showing the age of the centenarian; baptismal or confirmation records issued by churches and religious organizations; medical or dental examinations by government or private doctors and dentists; certifications from the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) ; and other similar organizations. 

For centenarians who were alive when the law took effect on July 15, 2016 but died before the actual implementation, their relatives should submit birth certificate, baptismal or confirmation records, marriage certificate, that will prove the deceased centenarians’ age eligibility at the time RA 10868 took effect, if any. Death certificate of the deceased centenarians, copy of ID of the nearest surviving relative, certificate of live birth of the nearest surviving relative and other relevant documents that would establish the relationship to the deceased centenarians should also be shown. In case of various nearest surviving relatives, a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) authorizing one of them to receive the centenarian gift on behalf of all of them should be made. The nearest surviving relative should also execute a Warranty and Release Liability Form. Meanwhile, for deceased centenarians under the care of residential care facilities, their cash incentives will be deposited to the account of the institution if there is no nearest living relative who will be claiming the amount. 

On the other hand, centenarians who have been abandoned by their families but under the care of a social welfare institution, the local government unit (LGU), a DSWD facility, or a non-relative may also be able to claim their cash incentive. The documents that were submitted to the local government units shall be endorsed to the respective DSWD Field Offices (FOs), subject for further validation of the assigned technical staff of the FO, before processing and releasing of the incentive. 

The Department has also allocated funds for overseas centenarians to be released once the Joint Memorandum Circular between and among the DSWD, Commission on Overseas Filipinos, Department of Foreign Affairs, and Philippine Veterans Affairs Office will be signed this year. 

Republic Act (RA) No. 10868 or the Centenarians Act of 2016 states that all Filipinos, who have reached 100 years old and above, whether residing in the Philippines or abroad shall be honored with a Letter of Felicitation from the President of the Philippines congratulating the celebrant for his or her longevity; and a Centenarian gift in the amount of P100,000. 

From 2016-2019, DSWD has released P560,900,000 for the cash gift of 5,609 centenarians nationwide. For this year, as of June 15, some 289 centenarians received P100,000 each amounting to P28,900,000. A total of 952 centenarians are expected to benefit from the law this year. 

DSWD remains committed in its mandate of providing programs and services to the most vulnerable sectors of our society, most especially the senior citizens in honor of their contribution to nation building. ###

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DSWD begins distribution of 2nd tranche SAP subsidy with 4Ps beneficiaries

Davao City – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office XI has started its distribution of the second tranche of the emergency assistance under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) with the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries.

Some 31,702 4Ps beneficiaries in the city will receive their subsidy amounting to P4,650 considering the regular cash grant in the computation.

“For Period 2 which covers the months of April and May, our 4Ps beneficiaries will receive their monthly cash grants amounting to P1,350 for their health and nutrition grant (P750) and rice subsidy (P600). Technically, they will receive a total of P6,000,” Margie Cabido, Regional Program Coordinator for Operations, clarified.

Only Davao City SAP beneficiaries will receive the second tranche of the subsidy based on Executive Order No. 112, Series of 2020 issued on May 1.

Cabido added that some 766 4Ps beneficiaries without cash cards will also receive the subsidy.

DSWD has earlier suspended the monitoring of compliance of the beneficiaries to the program conditionalities under “force majeure” circumstances in this time of crisis. ###

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DSWD intensifies efforts to address online exploitation of children amid COVID-19 threat

The threat of COVID-19 has not diminished the commitment of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to address the online sexual abuse and exploitation of children.

Even during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the Department, together with partner agencies, continuously conducts dialogues and rescues to ensure the safety of Filipino children online and offline.

This is based on the fact that online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC) is a growing crime that requires a coordinated global and national response, especially in these times when children are in lockdown with traffickers and offenders are spending more time online.

Efforts vs OSEC

To address OSEC in the country, DSWD is closely working with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to track and apprehend the perpetrators and rescue the victims of this heinous act. DSWD is also working with the local government units (LGUs), especially with the Local Councils for the Protection of Children (LCPCs), to increase awareness, prevention, and early detection of OSEC cases. Rescued OSEC victims are placed in DSWD custody and provided with psychosocial interventions.

As the lead agency in social protection, DSWD also provides assistance to trafficked persons under the Recovery and Reintegration Program for Trafficked Persons (RRPTP). In 2019, DSWD has served over 1,600 victims of trafficking of whom 1,297 were females and 395 were males.

DSWD also chairs the Inter-Agency Council Against Child Pornography (IACACP), created by virtue of RA 9775 or the  “Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009.”

IACACP which comprises government agencies and non-government organizations actively advocates for the prevention of OSEC through various platforms, including the formulation of a National Response Plan (NRP) for Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children (OSAEC) 2016-2020.

Based on the National Response Model Frame of the We Protect Global Alliance, the NRP serves as a guide for government agencies, LGUs, civil society organizations, private sectors and other stakeholders to address the gaps in prevention, responses,    

capacity building, policies and child protection mechanisms particular on OSAEC. In order to attain this task, the NRP had devised five Key Result Areas on Advocacy and Prevention, Law Enforcement and Prosecution, Protection, Recovery and Reintegration, Research and Management Information System, and Resource Mobilization and Partnership.

In this time of pandemic, the DSWD, as chair of IACACP, emphasized that it is even more crucial to closely monitor the safety of children even inside their homes.

It also encouraged the community to be vigilant and immediately report to the authorities all forms of abuses against children through the following hotlines:

  1. DSWD Recovery and Reintegration Program for Trafficked Persons (RRPTP) Hotline (02) 8931-9141;
  2. Text DSWD <space> blockchildporn<space> URL address and send to 2327or Text blockchildporn <space> URL address and send to 0918-9122813;
  3. Commission on Filipino Overseas TIP Hotline 1343
  4. PNP Patrol 911
  5. PNP Women and Children Protection Center: 0919 777 7377
  6. PNP Anti Cybercrime Group: Tel. No. (02) 723-0401 local 5354 Fax No. (02) 414-1560, 0926-084-3792
  7. NBI: (02) 523-8231 to 38 local 3454 to 3455
  8. DOJ-Office of Cybercrime Tel. No. (02) 524-82-16


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DSWD Statement on the 2nd tranche of SAP

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) welcomes the announcement of Secretary Harry Roque yesterday, 25 May 2020, stating that the government may start distributing the 2nd tranche of subsidy under the different social amelioration programs (SAP) of the national government, namely: 1) Rice Farmers Financing Assistance (RFFA) under the Department of Agriculture; 2) Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS) of the Department of Finance through the Social Security System; 3) Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers Barangay Ko, Bahay Ko Disinfections/Sanitation Project (TUPAD #BKBK) of the Department of Labor and Employment; and 4) Emergency Subsidy Program (ESP) through AICS of the DSWD, intended for the poor and informal sectors of society that are mostly affected by quarantine restrictions.

The DSWD appeals to the Local Government Units (LGUs) to kindly expedite the encoding and transmittal of their complete liquidation reports to our Field Offices (FOs). The liquidation report is vital in the process of validation as it includes the report of the disbursement (containing the photos of the recipients, Social Amelioration Card Forms, and amount of cash received); Report of Checks Issued and Report of Disbursements certified by the LGU accountant and approved by the Local Chief Executive; and a copy of the Official Receipt for the refund/return of unutilized SAP funds.

Validation and vetting by the FOs can only be done when the data per LGU have been submitted in its entirety, which will take approximately 15 days since validation on a city/municipality, provincial, and regional level takes place at the FO levels. Thereafter, it shall be forwarded to the DSWD Central Office for cross-matching and duplication with the other government agencies’ lists of beneficiaries to avoid duplicity and ineligibility. This will take another seven days in order to assure the people that the recipients are the poor families of society who need the SAP.

The DSWD is exhausting all means to shorten the vetting and validation process, however, we need the full cooperation of the LGUs in order to effect this.

DSWD expresses its gratitude to the Senate, the House of Representatives, the LGUs, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases, and all stakeholders who are one with us in working for a speedy distribution of the SAP 2nd tranche implementation.

We thank the nation for their patience and understanding during this time of COVID-19 pandemic. ###

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DSWD workers brave front lines to distribute subsidy

Davao City – Donning the personal protective equipment provided by the City Health Office, some Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) staff brave the front lines to distribute subsidy in Brgy. 23-C, a classified very high risk area.

The city government has recently urged the public to avoid going to these barangays for their significant number of COVID-19 cases. However, for the Department, this is an opportunity to show that the ‘serbisyong malasakit’ knows no bounds.

“Bisan pa sa hulga sa COVID-19 diri sa ako area, padayon man gihapon atong pagpanerbisyo diri,” Ms. Elena Alingalan, assigned city link of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), said.

Alingalan is one of the implementers of the emergency subsidy program under the social amelioration program (SAP) of the national government in the said barangay.

“Wala tay hunong diri sa pagpanarbaho apan strikto gyud ang pagpatuman nato sa mga safety protocols ilabina sa panahon sa pag-payout,” she added.

Of the barangays classified as very high risk areas, only Brgy. 13-B has completed the distribution of the emergency subsidy. SAP payouts will still be conducted in barangays 21-C, 23-C, Leon Garcia, and Buhangin Proper.

In a recent report, DSWD bared that at least 26 employees were subjected to a 14-day home quarantine following their exposure to a suspected case of COVID-19 during payout.

Despite the threat of COVID-19 in the communities, the Department is determined to complete the distribution of the subsidy even in areas with confirmed cases as the thought of still having unserved families up to this date remains a bigger challenge than the unseen coronavirus. ###

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