News and UpdatesIn the NewsDSWD gives P12.7M aid before BSK elections

DSWD gives P12.7M aid before BSK elections


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The Department of Social Welfare & Development-Central Visayas on Saturday confirmed it distributed P12.7 million in financial assistance to residents in this capital city before the Barangay & Sangguniang Kabataan Elections, amid concerns raised by not a few that activity was politicized.

DSWD-7 Director Shalaine Lucero said in an interview that the payouts in the different barangays here were part of the P4 billion DSWD funds covered by exemptions under the Commission on Elections ban.

“What we are doing is covered under the Comelec exemption under two resolutions, namely No. 07512 released in September, and No. 08647, which indicates that the DSWD’s routine services, activities, and programs are exempted,” Lucero said in part English and Cebuano.

“The giving of financial assistance for burial, medical, education, transportation, and other needs are covered by those exemptions.”

More than P12.7 million in financial assistance was given to 6,353 residents of this capital city at P2,000 per beneficiary.

The release of the latest payouts specifically covered the Oct. 20-30 period, thus the DSWD continued with its release of financial assistance to pre-identified beneficiaries according to their individual needs, Lucero said.

Her statement came amid complaints by residents aired through the media, and to the Comelec here that the activity was “politicized” with only select beneficiaries being identified by incumbent barangay officials.

Lucero explained that the DSWD does not have control over the identification of beneficiaries.

The barangays are the ones who identify and recommend these beneficiaries to the local government unit that requests assistance from the DSWD, she clarified.

Social workers then validate these applicants before listing them down for financial assistance, she added.

Lucero said if there are any complaints regarding the “misuse” or “abuse” of this government assistance, they can always order an investigation.

Meanwhile, Comelec Acting Provincial Election Supervisor Eliseo Labaria reiterated that they could not act on the complaints they received regarding the cash aid distribution, as they do not have first-hand information about it.

However, he said, people may file an inquiry or complaint via the Comelec hotline, to be attended to by the poll body under its Oplan Kontra-Bigay (Operation Anti-Bribery).

Labaria also said he is not aware of any exemption of the DSWD activities as his office has not received a copy of these Resolutions mentioned by the DSWD Regional Director. (Judy F. Partlow/PNA)



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