By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is seeking to take a second look at its guidelines on public solicitation and make the process in sync with the current COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
DSWD Spokesperson Irene Dumlao explained the reason behind the removal of the agency’s Facebook post about its advisory requiring individuals and organizations to apply for a solicitation permit before launching COVID-19 fund-raising activities.
“DSWD took down the post to review the guidelines on public solicitation and make the process more responsive to the emergency situation and harmonize it with the resolution of the IATF on public solicitation. This includes automating the process and waiving the application fees,” she told reporters in a Viber message.
Makabayan lawmakers called out the DSWD’s advisory, describing as “additional burden” to those who want to help in this time of crisis.
The DSWD’s Standards Bureau (SB) earlier issued an advisory warning the public against unauthorized solicitations being conducted by “various” individuals and organizations.
The Bureau said public solicitation should only be made after securing a permit from the DSWD.
“It has come to our attention that amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, various persons and organizations are allegedly conducting unauthorized public solicitation activities,” it said in an earlier advisory posted on the DSWD’s official Facebook page, which was taken down this afternoon.
“The DSWD’s SB reminds the public that soliciting donations is regulated by law,” read the advisory.
The Standards Bureau noted that under Presidential Decree No. 1564 or the Solicitation Permit Law, the DSWD is mandated to regulate the solicitation of donations and receiving of contributions for charitable or public welfare purposes.
“Hence, no person or organization shall conduct any form of solicitation in the country without first securing a permit from DSWD,” it said.
The DSWD called on all entities to apply for a solicitation permit with the nearest DSWD office, which has jurisdiction over the area where the solicitation activity will be conducted.
“Considering the enhanced community quarantine, kindly apply online and pay the processing fee at any Land Bank Branch Office (NCR payments only) or via online transfer,” it said.
The processing fee shall be deposited at Bureau of Treasury account with account number 3402-2516-96.
The Department requires the applicants to email a copy of the transaction receipt or proof of successful online transfer to [email protected]