DSWD welcomes survey results saying gov't subsidies were adequately distributed

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) renewed its commitment Tuesday (Sept.1) to “further strengthen” its implementation of social protection programs and continuously deliver government’s assistance  to poor and vulnerable communities in the country amid the threat of COVID-19. 

The DSWD made the pledge, as it welcomed the result of a recent survey conducted by Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) showing the government aid was widely extended to Filipino families during the coronavirus pandemic. 

"DSWD emphasized that the survey result affirmed that the Department and other national government agencies have been very responsive to the basic needs of the Filipino people in the midst of the pandemic by delivering much-needed aid in the form of food and cash,” it said in a statement. 

Based on the IPA Research for Effective COVID-19 Response (RECOVR) survey, which was conducted from June 18 to July 1, 89 percent of surveyed Filipino households got government support in response to COVID-19. 

The survey showed of those that are receiving support, 97 percent received food, while 45 percent received cash, the DSWD noted.

Aside from the emergency cash subsidy under the national government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP), the DSWD also delivers family food packs and other food and non-food items as resource augmentation support to the local government units to help them respond to the basic food needs of their constituents.

The DSWD also took note that based on the survey, 79 percent of cash aid recipients reported benefitting from the SAP

Aside from DSWD, other government agencies, including Department of Labor and Employment have implemented their own SAP to assist formal sector workers and small businesses hit by the pandemic.

"The DSWD emphasized that this new survey further strengthens its commitment to continue to implement its social protection programs and services and deliver aid, amid the threat of the COVID-19, to the poor and vulnerable who are most-affected by the pandemic,” the DSWD said.

The Department cited that the IPA RECOVR survey was rolled out in nine countries including the Philippines.

It is aimed at tracking how people’s lives have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to enable policymakers to better understand the situation in their countries and make data-driven policy decisions, it said.

Randomly selected throughout the country, the respondents are users of TNT prepaid mobile numbers.

In the Philippines, the survey is providing information about health and COVID-19 mitigation behavior, preparedness for distance learning, social safety net support, and the impact of the pandemic on employment, the DSWD noted.

In July, the DSWD welcomed the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showing that 72 percent of Filipinos got cash aid from the national government since the start of the COVID-19 crisis.

DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista earlier said the SWS survey, which conducted from July 3 to 6 among 1,555 respondents, proved that the agency is not remiss in its duty of delivering social protection programs to the most affected households by the pandemic crisis.  

The SWS survey showed that seven out of 10 families received financial assistance from the government since the start of the novel coronavirus crisis. 

According to the SWS survey, the most mentioned sources of financial aid were as follows: the DSWD at 41 percent, the SAP of the DSWD at 28 percent,  local government units (LGUs) at 14 percent, and the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) at 11 percent.