Absence of DSWD reps in House social pension hearing irks Atienza
MANILA, Philippines — House Deputy Speaker Lito Atienza scolded the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for not sending representatives to the hearing on the release schedule of the P500-monthly social pension for senior citizens, saying social welfare officials “don’t seem to be interested in the subject.”
During the online meeting of the House committee on senior citizens on the resolution urging the DSWD to release the P500-monthly social pension of senior citizens every three months instead of the current schedule of every six months, Atienza asked if there are any social welfare officials present in the hearing.
“Did they respond and commit to attending this very important meeting?” Atienza asked.
The committee secretary said DSWD’s regional directors are present in the hearing. However, the committee secretary added that they have yet to receive a reply as per the other officials despite receiving an invitation.
A visibly irked Atienza said the committee secretary should have informed senior citizens panel chairperson Senior Citizens Partylist Rep. Rodolfo Ordanes of the development.
“On this basis, this representation strongly denounces the manner that we are holding meetings like this. We should take more care to make sure the resource persons, very important in the discussions, [observe their] attendance,” Atienza said.
“Failure on their part, Mr. Chairman, I would move for the approval of this resolution of Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez with no participation from Social Welfare who don’t seem to be interested in the subject anyway,” he added.
Atienza’s motion was adopted.
Later on, the committee secretary said she was just told that a DSWD official would be attending the hearing.
“Congress should not be made to wait for their convenience. Whether they are coming or not is immaterial since the resolution is already approved,” Atienza said.
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