Maintains LGUs have final say on ECQ ‘ayuda’ list
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) clarified Saturday, April 17, that the list of Emergency Subsidy Program (ESP) beneficiaries it provided to the local government units (LGUs) only contained the names of the head of the low-income families.
The DSWD made clarification after Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos on Friday night, April 16, called out the agency for supposedly trying to “turn the tables” on the Metro mayors and blame them for complaints regarding the purported “faulty” aid list.
“Nais naming ipabatid na ang pangalan lamang ng head of the family ang nakalagay sa listahan na ibinahagi ng DSWD sa mga local government units (LGUs) (We would like to inform that only the name of the head of the family is included in the list provided by the DSWD to the local government units),” it said in a Facebook post on Saturday, April 17.
“Kinakailangang tukuyin at i-validate ng LGU ang mga miyembro ng pamilya ng nasabing head of the family. Maaari nilang gamitin ang mga Social Amelioration Card (SAC) forms na nasa kanilang pag-iingat (The LGU needs to identify and validate the members of the said head of family. They may use the Social Amelioration Card forms which are in their custody),” it added.
The DSWD maintained that the LGUs have the discretion to identify the recipients of the government’s one-time P22.9 billion worth of financial aid to 22.9 million beneficiaries in the National Capital Region (NCR)-plus.
“Muli, ang LGU ang siyang magsasapinal ng listahan ng mabibigyan ng ayuda. Nasa kanila ang diskresyon kung sinu-sino ang bibigyang-prayoridad para sa financial assistance (Again, the LGUs will finalize the list of aid beneficiaries. They have the discretion as to who will be given priority for the financial assistance)” the post read.
In separate radio interviews on Friday, April 16, 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 ‘ayuda’ (cash aid) recipients in the NCR-plus.
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.
Read more: LGUs have ‘full discretion’ to identify ECQ ‘ayuda’ beneficiaries — DSWD
The statements made by the DSWD officials did not sit well with Abalos, describing them on Friday night, April 16, as “very unfair”.
The DSWD reiterated that the list of beneficiaries of Emergency Subsidy Program (ESP) it provided to the LGUs “may be used as a reference for identifying the individuals who will be given aid in their respective localities.”
It noted that based on the issuance of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), an eligible individual is entitled to P1,000.00, provided that the assistance given to a family should not exceed the cap of P4,000.
The DSWD urged those who have questions and complaints regarding the payout to go to the Grievance and Appeals Committee of their LGUs.
On Friday night, April 16, the DSWD reported that the LGUs have disbursed more than P6.7 billion worth of financial aid to over 6.7 million low-income earners affected by the imposition of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) NCR-plus.