DSWD pleads to seniors, PWDs: Just send representatives to claim your aid
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.
“[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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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