DSWD validating list of aid beneficiaries to prevent duplication
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is scrutinizing the list of families that would benefit from the government’s social amelioration program, to prevent a duplication of social assistance given.
DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista revealed on Wednesday night that they were asking beneficiaries to list down their names and other personal details, to identify whether a member of their family had already received aid, whether through other DSWD programs or other departments’ initiatives.
The social assistance program was created to aid families affected by the stoppage of work over Luzon, as the entire island was placed on an enhanced community quarantine due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Currently, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is also providing a work-for-pay scheme for those in the informal sector.
“Bakit natin pinapasulat sila sa social amelioration card? Para po makita kung ano pa ang mga tulong na naibigay sa kanila. May mga pagkakataon na ang isang pamilya o ang isang miyembro ng kanilang pamilya ay benepisyaryo din po ng DOLE, benepisyaryo din po ng Department of Agriculture or even DTI,” Bautista said in a briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte.
[Why are we asking them to write down details in the social amelioration card? It is for us to see what kind of assistance were given to them. There are instances where one family or a member of the family was also recorded as a beneficiary of DOLE, of the Department of Agriculture, or even the Department of Trade and Industry.]
According to Bautista, the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act of 2020, or Republic Act No. 11469, places a limit on the assistance that a family can receive from the government.
Bautista was referring Section 4(c) of R.A. 11469, which states that 18 million low income households would receive a minimum of P5,000 to a maximum of P8,000 worth of social aid per month.
If this is not checked, the DSWD chief said that it may ultimately lead to the depletion of the government’s funds — so scrutinizing the beneficiaries would mean reaching more families in need.
“Ayon po sa batas ng Bayanihan Law na dapat ang isang pamilya ay makakatanggap lamang ng P5,000 to P8,000,” he said. “Ang magiging problema po natin ‘to kapag hindi po na-validate ang isang pamilya, magkakaroon po ng duplikasyon ng mga benepisyong ibibigay sa kanya.”
(According to the Bayanihan Law, each family should only receive around P5,000 to P8,000. The problem is that if we do not validate each family, there might be a duplication of the beneficiaries given to them.)
“Ano pong magiging epekto nito? Mababawasan po ang mga benepisyaryo dahil ang isang pamilya na nakakatanggap ng — sabihin natin kung hindi nabantayan — makakatanggap ng isa, dalawa o tatlong ayuda sa mga iba’t ibang ahensiya,” he added.
[What would happen after this? The number of beneficiaries would be reduced because a family has received — if we fail to monitor them — more than one, two, or even three forms of assistance from different government agencies.]
Earlier, Bautista said that the delay in the rollout of the social amelioration program was due to problems in local governments’ list.
“Kasi po ang listahan ng mga taong babayaran ay hindi po available, siguro ang ineexpect po namin noon, na ang LGU, dahil alam nila ang kanilang constituents, that they’ll have the profile, the names, the work, and other livelihood activities ng kanilang nasasakupan,” Bautista said during a briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte.
[Because the list of people who would receive the financial aid was not available, maybe we were expecting that LGU officials know their constituents more — that they they’ll have the profile, the names, the work, and other livelihood activities of people within their jurisdiction.]
As of now, the entire of Luzon is still under an enhanced community quarantine — which was extended until April 30 as the number of patients infected with the latest coronavirus strain continues to rise.
According to the Department of Health, there are now at 3,870 patients infected with COVID-19, of whom 182 have died and 96 have recovered.
Worldwide, over 1.4 million individuals have been infected, while 81,894 have died from the disease and 294,660 have recovered from it.
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