DSWD chided during House inquiry for red tape in cash aid
MANILA, Philippines — Slow, inadequate, insensitive, tedious and laden with corruption problems.
These were some of the adjectives lawmakers used to describe the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) at a House inquiry that looked on Monday into red tape that led to delayed release of the cash aid for 18 million families affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano castigated the agency for its slow and complicated processes in releasing the P5,000 to P8,000 per household assistance under the social amelioration program funded by the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista was not present at the hearing.
Cayetano scored the DSWD’s shortcomings, particularly the original “30-step process” from screening of beneficiaries to the release of the fund that caused delays and made the agency miss its deadlines at least twice and to defer payout of the second tranche in May.
The Taguig lawmaker reminded the officials that the House leadership had already warned them about the lengthy procedure before the program was implemented.
“We let it go but we warned you. We had a Zoom meeting with Secretary [Bautista], and I said, ‘I hope I’m wrong, but if you do that, you won’t be finished in one or two weeks,’” Cayetano said.
“When did you give the social amelioration? End of May. We were talking in March and early April,” he lamented.
Cayetano identified some problems experienced by the beneficiaries: bureaucratic, too much requirements; tedious processes, inadequate, slow, insensitive to vulnerable sectors; corruption; duplication of beneficiaries; complaints on social media; confusion among LGUs (local government units) and barangays; and breakdown of communication.
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