Nograles says LGUs to be deputized only in implementing social amelioration; DSWD has direct supervision
Local government units may only be deputized by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the implementation of the social amelioration program to some 18,000 million poor households, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases said on Thursday.
In a virtual press briefing, IATF spokesman and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles issued the clarification after President Rodrigo Duterte stripped the LGUs of the authority to enforce the program where beneficiaries could receive P5,000 to P8,000 from the national government due to the complaints against some local officials.
"The DSWD and the national government agencies will implement, using the existing platform of the DSWD because they already have the list of beneficiaries," he said.
He explained that the DSWD has a procedure in choosing the recipients of the government's assistance.The DSWD has been implementing the 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) or conditional cash transfer program where over 4.2 million poorest households receive financial assistance from the national government provided that they follow the conditions being imposed.
"But the DSWD and the national government agencies can deputize the LGUs to help in distributing the financial assistance to the target beneficiary-families. It is called deputization, but the DSWD, together with the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines), together with the PNP (Philippine National Police) and other government agencies, will monitor, lead and, of course, all of these are subject to strict and quick and fast liquidation reports of the LGUs if they are deputized by the national government," Nograles explained.
In a separate "Laging Handa" press briefing, DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista said the initial P100 billion fund to be distributed to the beneficiaries is already with his office.
"The P100 billion intended for social amelioration fund is already with me," he said, noting it is intended for one month.
The priority beneficiaries would be those enrolled with the 4Ps and the assistance would just be credited to their cash cards, he said.
Under Republic Act No. 11469 or the "Bayanihan Heal As One Act," the government has earmarked P200 billion cash assistance for the over 18 million informal, underprivileged and vulnerable sector now that the enhanced community quarantine is being implemented in Luzon and other parts of the country due to the coronavirus disease pandemic. Celerina Monte/DMS