LGUs have ‘full discretion’ to identify ECQ ‘ayuda’ beneficiaries — DSWD

Published April 16, 2021, 11:42 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said Friday, April 16, the local government units (LGUs) have been given “full discretion” to identify their low-income constituents who will receive the government’s one-time financial assistance in the National Capital Region (NCR)-plus.


In separate radio interviews, DSWD spokesperson Irene Dumlao said Undersecretary Rene Glen Paje said based on the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 1 series of 2021, signed by the DSWD, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Department of National Defense (DND), the LGUs have the discretion to identify the recipients of the P22.9 billion-aid.

Both officials clarified that the list provided by the DSWD only served as a “reference” for the LGUs to identify the individuals who will be given aid in their respective localities.

“ito pong listahan na ito basehan po ng local government units sa pagtukoy ng mga indibidwal na mapapasama dito sa emergency assistance. While we have provided the list, discretion pa rin po ng lokal na pamahalaan ang pagtukoy at pagvalidate ng mga mapapasama, kumbaga sila pa rin po ang magpapafinalize nung listahan na mkakatanggap ng ayuda (This list may serve as a basis for the LGUs to identify the individuals who will be included in the emergency assistance. While we have provided the list, the local governments have discretion to identify and validate those who will be included, with that,  they will still finalize the list of aid recipients),” Dumlao told the DZBB in an interview amid snowballing complaints about the supposed incomplete and inaccurate list given by the DSWD to the LGUs. 

Marikina City Mayor Marcy Teodoro had criticized the list provided by the DSWD.

In an interview over DZXL, Paje said the DSWD list underwent “thorough process” before it was given to the LGUs. 

“Ang listahan na ‘yan ay nagsisilbing reference lang po, yan po ay hindi eksakto, sapagkat alam natin na ang lokal na pamahalaan na sila ang nakakakilala at sila ang nakakaalam sa mga sitwasyon , sa kalagayan ng kanilang nasasakupan , sa kondisyon sa lugar at maging sa condition ng tao na nasa ilalim ng kanilang poder (That list serves only as a reference, that is not exact, because we know that the local governments know their people and the situation on the ground, the situation of their constituents, the condition of their areas and people under them)” he said. 

On March 31, the DSWD gave the list of Social Amelioration Program (SAP) beneficiaries to the LGUs as part of its technical assistance to help ensure  the immediate distribution of one-time financial aid to around 22.9 million recipients  in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

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.