DSWD programs continue amid election period

By Jennifer P. Rendon

The election period will not hamper the implementation of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) programs.

The DSWD-Field Office VI was assured of this after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) approved the former’s request for exemption of the implementation of programs and services from the spending ban as stipulated in the provisions of Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code in relation to Comelec Resolution No. 10944.

“Our programs and services will continue. We are happy that the Comelec has granted exemption to our implementation of programs and services because these are for the benefit of the people,” Atty. Carmelo Nochete, DSWD-6 regional director, said.

These programs include the subsidy for rice retailers under the Sustainable Livelihood Program-Economic Relief Subsidy.

Other DSWD programs and projects with approved exemption from the election ban are the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program, Food Stamp Program (FSP), Tara, Basa! Tutoring Program, Oplan Pag-Abot, Project Lawa, Social Pension Program, Centenarian Program, and Supplemental Feeding Program.

Also exempted are Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAPH), Kalahi-CIDSS, Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan or PAMANA Program, Recovery and Reintegration Program for Trafficked Persons (RRPTP), Psychosocial care and support for persons living with HIV and their affected families.

The list also included the Targeted Cash Transfer Program (TCT), Residential and Non-residential Care Program, Philippine Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Project, Socio-Economic Program for Normalization of the Commissioned Combatant, and Modified Shelter Assistance Project.

The agency is also allowed to continue its ongoing disaster relief, early recovery and rehabilitation programs, and provision of programs and services to address the needs of poor, vulnerable, and marginalized Filipinos.

Meanwhile, Atty. May Rago-Castillo, DSWD-6 regional information officer, stressed that DSWD is a non-political agency.

“We are non-partisan. AICS is a service of DSWD. The service can be availed by those in crisis situations,” she said.

AICS is DSWD’s social welfare services that provide medical assistance, burial, transportation, education, food, or financial assistance for other support services or needs of a person or family.

“Our requirements for AICS are clear. No political endorsement is required,” Castillo said.