The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said the distribution of cash aid or “ayuda” to residents of areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) may be done manually due to limited time.
The DSWD noted that such mechanism “worked” during the distribution of assistance when the National Capital Region (NCR) and its nearby areas were previously placed under the strictest quarantine classification.
“We also respect the recommendation to adopt manual/face-to-face distribution of aid due to the limited time that we have to distribute the needed assistance and the peculiarities on the ground,” DSWD spokesperson Irene Dumlao said in a statement Tuesday, Aug. 3.
The department recognized that the digital payment system for the distribution of cash aid had “some challenges.”
It explained that some of these challenges included the insufficient information provided by beneficiaries and that some recipients do not have smartphones.
“However, we believe that certain gains resulted from the use of digital payouts as affirmed by the study conducted by the Innovations for Poverty Action, in collaboration with the World Bank and the DSWD, entitled, Monitoring Digital Financial Payments of Cash Transfer in the Philippines,” Dumlao said.
“According to the study, 92 percent of respondents reported high or very high satisfaction levels on the use of digital disbursements for SAP,” she added.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos reportedly said that the distribution of cash aid to metro residents may be done through face-to-face basis due to the limited time.
The DSWD has employed the use of digital and manual payout of emergency cash aid under the government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP) to residents of areas placed under strict quarantine restrictions.