The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has advised individuals, groups, and organizations who have launched fund-raising activities for the benefit of the typhoon victims and those affected by COVID-19 pandemic to coordinate with its Standards Bureau or nearest DSWD Field Office, which has jurisdiction over their areas.
The DSWD issued an advisory, apparently warning the public against unscrupulous individuals and groups who are taking advantage of the situation and supposedly conducting unauthorized public solicitation activities.
“Ang DSWD ay taos pusong nagpapasalamat sa lahat ng mga indibidwal, grupo, at organisasyon na patuloy ang pagtulong sa ating mga kababayan na nakararanas ng pagsubok dulot ng pandemya at mga kalamidad (The DSWD is sincerely grateful to all individuals, groups, and organizations who are continuously helping our people who are struggling because of the pandemic and the calamities),” it said in an advisory posted on the agency’s official Facebook page.
"Upang makatiyak na ang indibidwal, grupo, at organization ay lehitimo ang pagso-solicit sa publiko, mangyari lamang na makipag-ugnayan sa DSWD Standards Bureau sa numero (To ensure that these individuals, groups, and organizations are authorized to conduct public solicitations, kindly coordinate with the DSWD Standards Bureau at contact number) (02) 8951-7125 or email at email@example.com," it said.
It said those engaged in COVID-19 or typhoon fund-raising activities may also coordinate with the nearest DSWD office, which has jurisdiction over the area.
In April, the DSWD’s Standard Bureau issued an advisory requiring individuals and organizations to apply for a solicitation permit before launching COVID-19 fund-raising activities.
Such advisory drew flak from senators and members of the House of Representatives, describing it as "additional burden" to those who want to help in this time of pandemic crisis.
The DSWD took down the post, explaining it is seeking 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.
In that controversial post, the DSWD's Standards Bureau reminded that public solicitation will only be made after securing a permit from the DSWD.
"It has come to our attention that amidst the pandemic, various persons and organizations are allegedly conducting unauthorized public solicitation activities," it said in an advisory posted on the DSWD's official Facebook page on April 16.
The controversial post was taken down on the same day it was posted.
"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 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,” the controversial post said.