DSWD: Beneficiaries only need to show ID or inclusion in barangay list to claim aid
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has clarified that aid beneficiaries only need to present either an official identification card or be included in the barangay list to receive assistance following allegations of overly strict rules.
DSWD Social Marketing Services Director Marlouie Sulima said in a message to reporters on Tuesday that calamity victims do not have to present both proofs of residence, saying that one of these two would be enough for them to obtain the cash grant.
“Sa ngayon po ay kinakailangan na lamang magpakita ng ID ng mga residenteng nasa listahan ng mga biktima ng mga kalamidad na ibinibigay ng LGUs upang mabigyan sila ng ayuda,” Sulima said.
(Currently, residents just need to show their ID, those who are in the list of victims of calamity provided by the LGU, for them to get assistance.)
“Kung wala silang maipakitang ID o anumang identification document, sapat na ang listahang ibibigay ng kanilang LGU upang mabigyan ng ayuda,” he added.
(If they can’t provide an ID, the list given by the LGU is enough.)
Sulima further noted that the reduction in requirements was one of the directives of Social Welfare and Administration Secretary Erwin Tulfo after he was named to head the department.
The DSWD official said this after Noveleta Mayor Dino Chua accused the DSWD Regional Office in Calabarzon of implementing very strict requirements for people to get social aid in view of Severe Tropical Storm Paeng’s onslaught.
The DSWD’s refusal to provide social aid allegedly left at least 300 families without any assistance.
As a result, DSWD relieved the two officials — Region 4-A Director Barry Chua and Assistant Regional Director Mylah Gatchalian — but eventually reinstated them days after internal investigations cleared them of any wrongdoing.
In a separate statement, Tulfo clarified that the officials were cleared because they were not at fault as they only refused to provide the cash aid because the 300 families mentioned failed to present an ID, and were not part of the local government’s list.
According to the DSWD head, the reason the two officials were strict in the provision of social aid was that the Commission on Audit (COA) could flag them if the disbursements cannot be justified.
“Every centavo we give out to those in need must be accounted for and backed by a piece of document to show that our funds really go to the poor and the needy of this country, and to protect our personnel from graft and corruption cases,” Tulfo said during the flag raising ceremony on Monday.
READ: 2 DSWD execs sacked after Cavite mayor complained of strict requirements for aid | Two days after being relieved, DSWD execs returned to posts
Tulfo also said he has informed Chua about the reinstatement of the two officials.
However, the DSWD chief also assured the public that while he rushed to the defense of the personnel called out by Mayor Chua, the department will not condone abusive personnel.
“However, make no mistake. I will not condone those members of our agency who treat our clients with disrespect, abuse their position, or get involved in corruption,” Tulfo noted. With reports from Kristelle Anne Razon, trainee
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