Go chides DSWD execs for alleged 'selective' cash aid payout

Go chides DSWD execs for alleged ‘selective’ cash aid payout

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 05:30 PM April 23, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Tuesday fumed at officials of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for allegedly being “selective” in the implementation of one of its cash aid programs and using it for politics.

At the receiving end of his ire were DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian and his office’s Regional Director Marie Angela Gopalan.

“Totoo ba na bawal banggitin ang aking pangalan pero sa ibang politiko hindi po bawal?” Go asked Gopalan during the hearing of the Senate committee on social justice on Tuesday.


(Is it true that mentioning my name is prohibited but for other politicians it is not prohibited?)


The committee headed by Senator Imee Marcos was discussing proposals to institutionalize the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS) program of the DWSD.

READ: Angara bill seeks to turn DSWD aid program into law

Go cited information he received about the DSWD’s supposed order not to mention his name when his office is extending assistance to victims of fire and other calamities in certain areas.

But Gopalan denied giving an “explicit” instruction not to mention Go’s name.

However, she believes “it is best” not to mention names during cash aid distribution to beneficiaries.


Go clarified there was no need to mention his name but stressed that the DSWD should also not be “selective.”

“Huwag lang po tayong maging selective, Ma’am. Huwag niyo pong haluan ng pulitika,” he said.

(Let’s just not be selective, Ma’am. Please don’t mix it with politics.)

“Ito pang pangalawa, bakit bawal akong pumunta? Bakit ‘yung ibang politiko hindi bawal pumunta?” the senator asked.

(Here’s another question: why am I not allowed to go? Why are other politicians allowed to go?)

“Pangalong tanong ko, pera niyo ba ‘yan? Pera ng taumbayan ‘yan, ma’am. Hindi niyo po pera ‘yan, just be fair with us…” he continued.

(My third question: Is that your money? That’s the people’s money, ma’am. It’s not yours, just be fair with us…)

The senator later directed his questions to Gatchalian, citing a particular incident in an area in Mindanao.

READ: DSWD to act on reported aid payout irregularities in Mindanao

According to Go, AICS recipients have been waiting for months for cash aid, but it was immediately given and even doubled when it was distributed personally by the DSWD chief.

“Hindi ba ito nagagamit sa pulitika ninyo (Is this not being used for your politics)?” he then asked Gatchalian. “Are you running for the Senate?”

“I’m not running for the Senate,” Gatchalian answered, adding he even had his name removed from election surveys.

“I don’t have any intention of running for the Senate,” he stressed.

Gatchalian also clarified that what he released to the recipients in Mindanao was the emergency cash transfer and not the AICS as claimed by the senator.

“Emergency cash transfer ho ‘yung doble na sinasabi ninyo. Hindi ho ako nag-release ng AICS, it’s emergency cash transfer,” he pointed out.

(It was the emergency cash transfer that was doubled, which you mentioned. I did not release the AICS.)

Go insisted that Gatchalian was using his office for politics, which the latter categorically denied.

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“I’m not using the office for my politics and I categorically state that I’m not running for any position this coming election,” he said.

NOTE: The English translations in the article were AI-generated.


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