DSWD: Families in remote areas need not travel to get funds
Families who qualify for cash assistance from the government but live in remote areas do not have to travel to the offices of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to receive the funds.
Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo on Thursday issued guidelines that allow state social workers to distribute funds outside DSWD offices to beneficiaries of its protective services program.
The program covers cash-for-work schemes, educational assistance, and cash or guarantee letters for medical or burial needs.
These are extended to persons or families assessed by the DSWD among the indigent, vulnerable, disadvantaged, in crisis and in the informal sector.
While the financial assistance should normally be distributed within DSWD premises, Taguiwalo acknowledged that “it will not always be easy for our beneficiaries to go to the DSWD field offices” if they live in remote areas.
In her Memorandum Circular Number 11, Taguiwalo laid down the mechanism to distribute the financial assistance in DSWD “off-site serbisyo” locations.
“We have to make it clear that off-site release will be resorted to only when… on-site payment or release results or tends to result to inconvenience to beneficiaries or is impractical or not cost-efficient,” she explained.
She said the “off-site serbisyo” locations will be determined by the regional directors or their representatives among the available public schools, barangay halls, day care centers, multi-purpose halls and covered courts.
Each off-site location will correspond to specific areas in the locality.
“The location will put primary consideration to the safety and well-being of the beneficiaries and DSWD service providers,” Taguiwalo stressed.
The off-site fund release is in line with Taguiwalo’s Memorandum Circular 9 that sets guidelines on the implementation of the DSWD’s protective services program.
During the two budget hearings this months, Taguiwalo met stiff opposition from many lawmakers who resented the new policy that made referral letters from politicians unnecessary before one can ask for assistance from the DSWD.
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