DSWD vows to look into waiver for ECQ ‘ayuda’ beneficiaries in Bulacan

Published April 16, 2021, 1:07 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) vowed Friday, April 16, to look into the reports that beneficiaries  of the government’s one-time financial aid in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan were allegedly being required to sign a waiver.

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) (MANILA BULLETIN)
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)

DSWD Undersecretary Rene Glen Paje confirmed that they already received the information about the controversial three-paragraph waiver. 

The waiver supposedly states that the recipients “have no complaints” regarding the aid they would get even if they are only receiving P1,000 regardless of the number of family members.

“Nakarating na po sa atin ito ay ating pasusubaybayan at patitingnan sa lalong madaling panahon (This already reached us, we will monitor and look into this as soon as possible),” he said in an interview over DZXL. 

He said they will inform the  Joint Monitoring and Inspection Team (JMIT) about the matter. 

DSWD sits as a member of the JMIT, whose creation was stipulated in Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 1 series of 2021 on the implementation of the financial aid in the National Capital Region (NCR)-plus.

Under the JMC No. 1, the DSWD, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of National Defense (DND) are tasked to provide technical assistance to the LGUs “on their respective areas of concern.”

In an interview with the  DZBB, DSWD spokesperson Irene Dumlao stressed that that based on the JMC and Local Budget Circular  NO. 136, issued by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), an eligible individual is entitled to P1,000, provided that the assistance given to a family  should not exceed the cap of P4,000.

“With that we have to defer to the DILG, they have the oversight function over the local government  units,” she said when asked  about the penalties that may be imposed against LGUs who are found to be violating the guidelines. 

Under the JMC, the DSWD, together with the DILG City/Municipal Local Government Operations Office, Philippine National Police (PNP), City /Provincial Prosecutors Office, and civil society organizations (CSOs) are expected “to address grievances of beneficiaries, monitor LGU compliance with applicable guidelines, seek the assistance of higher authorities in case of undue delay or systemic anomalies in the distribution, and cause the filing of administrative or criminal cases against public officials in irregular or unlawful practice relative to the financial aid.”

The DSWD reported on Thursday night, April 15, that over 4.9 million low-income individuals affected by the ECQ in the NCR-plus have received their one-time financial aid.