MANILA - The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has proposed to the House Appropriations Committee a P191,399,762 budget for 2022 which also includes the operations of its attached and supervised agencies.
The Department of Budget and Management shared its budget levels for FY 2022 at P189,129,911,000 without DSWD’s attached agencies.
When broken down, the budget goes to 5 particulars: personnel services at P 9.2 billion, higher by 2 billion from 2021's budget; MOOE at P179 billion, Financial expenses at P 388 million; Capital outlay at P364 million; and payment for retirement and life insurance premium at P 146 million.
Among the DSWD’s programs, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program has the biggest 2022 proposal of over P115 billion, almost P9 billion higher than in 2021.
Next is the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens, with a proposal of P23.5 billion for 2022, slightly higher than 2021's P23.46 billon to serve 3.8 million senior citizens.
DSWD has also reported that in terms of the Social amelioration program, they have achieved almost 100 percent Disbursement rate for the SAP 1, SAP 2 and Bayanihan 2.
The social welfare department is preparing for the full devolution of some of its functions as mandated according to EO 138 beginning next year.
This includes the scaling down of its Supplementary Feeding Program, Assistance to Persons with Disabilities, Comprehensive Project for Street Children, and Transition of programs for Older Persons to NCSC for 2022.
For 2023, the DSWD plans to phase out the supplementary feeding program and scale down the Recovery and Reintegration Program for Trafficked Persons.
And for 2024, it will fully devolve the KALAHI-CIDSS National Community- Driven Development Project, Sustainable Livelihood Program and scale down the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations.
DSWD also noted that 14 of its field personnel have died from COVID-19 out of 2,250 as of Aug. 27, 2021.
ACT Rep. France Castro askedwhy there is only a 18.46 percent accomplishment rate on the National Council on Disability Affairs.
"What accounts na ganito kababa? Ano ang mga backlog na dapat habulin?" Castro asked.
NCDA Director Emerito Rojas said they had a lot of "savings" since projects are done "online".
"By the end of the 3rd quarter we are projecting 75% completion or obligation rate," Rojas said.
Gabriela Partylist Rep. Arlene Brosas questioned why some SAP beneficiaries have not received their subsidy yet.
"(COA) Auditors revealed there are 135 identified SAP beneficiaries equivalent to 2% of the total sample size of 6,761 who have not yet received the second tranch, totalling to 920 thousand. But DSWD’s database tagged them as ‘paid’. COA further noted that poor implementation of the supplemental guidelines of the MOA in DSWD calls this an anomaly. Paano ba ito inimplement ang guidelines?” Brosas asked.
DSWD said there could have been a duplication in the process.
“These are being attended to by our field offices, we will submit our complete management response by September,” said DSWD Financial Management Service Director Wayne Belizar.
Brosas also questioned why beneficiaries are charged 50 pesos per transaction.
DSWD said this is part of their financial service providers’ system.
“Dahil po ang ating financial service provider nagke-create po sila ng restricted transactional accounts, pwede po nila itong gamitin sa kanilang online transactions. Pag ina avail, nagkakaroon lang ng 50 pesos pagpupunta ang beneficiaries sa cash out...'Pag may partners na sisingil ng 50 service charge, ang agreement namin ay i-reimburse ng FSP sa beneficiaries,” Belizar said.
This has not satisfied Brosas, who also asked why the FSPs should make a profit during the pandemic.
"Matindi kasi krisis na eh ang tindi ng pangangalangan," Brosas said.
DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista also confirmed they intend to make quarterly the social pension of indigent senior citizens instead of quarterly.
“Starting this first quarter of 2022,” said Bautista.