DSWD speaks up on discrepancies in pandemic aid distribution


Posted at Oct 13 2021 11:18 AM

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MANILA – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has explained the discrepancy in data on the amount of social amelioration funds it had distributed, which was flagged by Senator Panfilo Lacson in the agency’s proposed 2022 budget hearing.

In the Senate panel hearing, DSWD claimed that they distributed pandemic aid to 717,372 out of 761,259 target family beneficiaries, or an accomplishment rate of 94 percent.

But Lacson noted that the DSWD only disbursed around 80 percent of its social amelioration fund.

“That can happen because that was the second tranche of the Bayanihan 2,” said Assistant Secretary Glenda Relova.

“So we targeted 761,000 and yet served 717,000, which is 94 percent of our target. There are two components of the Bayanihan 2: number one is the emergency subsidy and the other one is the livelihood assistance grant.”

“In the livelihood assistance grant we were able to give different amounts of subsidy for example, other families received P15,000 because of their proposal, business proposal, [others] received P5,000 because they opted to go on [an’] employment track.”

“So it means that we were able to serve more beneficiaries, even spending lesser because they have different per capita in terms of the livelihood assistant grant,” she explained on ANC’s “Rundown.”

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An Inquirer report also said Lacson noted that some local government units ran into problems with aid distribution after complaints were filed against them for not giving assistance based on the DSWD’s data, which turned out to be “outdated.”

In response to this, Relova said, “The DSWD have not provided names or database for the LGU. What the DSWD provided is a target number of beneficiaries, so ang ibig sabihin noon the LGU will be filling up the names.”

“So there’s no database, so the one that was given to us by the LGUs are current,” she said.

The DSWD proposed to the House Appropriations Committee a P191,399,762 budget for 2022.

--ANC, 13 October 2021