DSWD pleads to seniors, PWDs: Just send representatives to claim your aid | Inquirer News
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DSWD pleads to seniors, PWDs: Just send representatives to claim your aid

/ 09:15 PM April 26, 2021
DSWD on cash assistance to seniors and PWDs

FILE- Impoverished residents of a barangay in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan province,
hand in forms for aid in this photo taken on April 4. Local authorities use the forms to identify
residents qualified to receive cash handouts under the national government’s financial assistance
program for people badly hit by lockdown measures introduced to stem the spread of the new coronavirus in the country. INQUIRER file photo / JAM STA. ROSA

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has pleaded to senior citizens and persons with disability (PWDs) to send representatives instead of personally claiming their financial aid from the government.

DSWD on Monday stressed that it would be better if healthier members of the family would pick the social aid for seniors and PWDs, especially if their local government unit (LGU) is distributing the cash grants and other assistance through big and concentrated venues.

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“[The DSWD] appealed anew to senior citizens and persons with disability to avoid going out of their homes to claim their financial assistance from the [LGUs] but, instead send their authorized representatives,” the department said in a statement.

According to DSWD, seniors would only have to write an authorization letter signed by them, and provide the designated representative their senior citizen identification card and other valid IDs to prove that the people obtaining the aid in their behalf is duly authorized.

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This is important, the department said, as a lot of LGUs cannot accommodate house-to-house provision of the social aid.

“[…] Seniors and PWDs may send younger and healthier members of their families as their authorized representatives to claim their aid. To claim the aid, the representatives may need to show their ID, the senior citizen’s ID,  and the authorization letter signed by the elderly-beneficiary,” DSWD said.

“The different LGUs in the NCR Plus bubble are currently distributing the financial assistance to their qualified constituents. While there are LGUs that are conducting house-to-house distribution  of the aid, especially to vulnerable sectors like senior citizens and PWDs, others have opted for big venue payouts where beneficiaries need to line up,” it added.

Disbursement of the social aid worth P1,000, which was mandated after Metro Manila and nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal went under an enhanced community quarantine due to rising COVID-19 cases.

As of April 16, several local governments are not yet done with the provision of the social aid, as some have even asked the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for an extension.

READ: DILG deliberates on requests to extend ECQ aid distribution 

Due to some areas where the social aid has not been disbursed fully, and with some complaining that the P1,000 cash grant is too small, several community pantries sprouted across the country.

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With the community pantry, people whose livelihood or jobs were affected by the lockdowns due to the COVID-19 surge can get food products or produce for them to eat within a day.  The in-kind products are donations from people inside and outside of each community, sourced by organizers of the pantries.

However, DSWD also issued a reminder over the community pantry craze, saying that relief operation organizers should coordinate with LGUs as authorities observed blatant violation of health protocols, from non-wearing of face masks to crowding and disregard of physical distancing measures.

READ: Death at crowded pantry: Officials stress coordination with local gov’t 

READ: Death, huge crowd shut down Angel Locsin’s birthday community pantry 

“Meanwhile, the DSWD also reminded organizers of relief distribution drives to properly coordinate with concerned LGUs to ensure the proper and orderly conduct of the activities, especially if there are participants from the vulnerable groups,” DSWD said.

“The DSWD said that senior citizens and PWDs are the most vulnerable to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even the resolution issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases emphasized that those 60 years old and above and have health risks are advised to stay at home amid the pandemic,” it added.

READ: DILG to community pantry organizers: Coordinate with LGUs, PNP for crowd control 

READ: Written notice, point person now required in setting up community pantries in QC 

JPV
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TAGS: COVID-19 surge, Department of Social Welfare and Development, DSWD, enhanced community quarantine, Persons With Disability, Philippine news updates, PWDs, senior citizens, social aid
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