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DSWD Region V warns public of epal

Legazpi City—The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region V advised the public of incumbent government officials claiming credit for its existing programs in relation to the forthcoming elections.

This followed after incidents were reported by the DSWD field workers in Camarines Sur that the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) of DSWD appeared to be funded by a certain politician that has announced to run in the 2019 local elections.

Ang pera mula DSWD ay ginagamit sa pamumulitika. Ang akala ng mga tao ay pera ito ng pulitiko (The DSWD fund is being used for politicking. People think it is the politician’s money),” DSWD Dir. Arnel Garcia said.

He announced earlier this month that the DSWD will not tolerate any form of propaganda at the expense of its programs and services for the poor. He has ordered its field workers to closely monitor the ongoing ESA payout and provide assistance to the local government units (LGUs).

Huwag lokohin ang mahihirap dahil alam ng taumbayan kung kanino galling ang pondo ng ESA. Hindi po yan galling sa bulsa ng sinuman. Ang DSWD ay nagpadaloy lamang ng pondo ng bayan (Do not mislead the poor because the people know the source of fund for ESA. The funds do not come from anyone’s pocket. The DSWD only disbursed the people’s money,” Dir. Garcia added.

ESA is the provision of limited financial or material assistance (or both) to family-victims of disasters whose houses are either totally or partially damaged. The per capita cost ranges from ₱10,000.00 to ₱30,000.00 per family.

The aftermath of typhoon Nina in 2016 left thousands of Bicolanos in Catanduanes, Albay and Camarines Sur homeless. To aid the affected families, the ESA funds were downloaded to the municipal/city local government units (LGUs) for the totally damaged houses while the provincial LGUs received the cash assistance for the partially damaged houses. DSWD tapped the LGUs to facilitate the payout to the ESA beneficiaries. The ESA payout schedule is set in two batches which will be announced by the respective LGUs. To date, DSWD released a total of PhP 2,412,450,000.00 to the LGUs for ESA payout.

On the other hand, the “Bawal and Epal Dito” Campaign started in 2013 under the stint of former Secretary Dinky Soliman that aims to insulate the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program from undue politicking.

According Dir. Garcia, DSWD Region V will continue to promote the said campaign to empower its clients and beneficiaries under the national government programs. This campaign is not limited to ESA or 4Ps but also encompasses the entire implementation of other DSWD programs.

“Ang taumbayan ang maghusga, kapag epal huwag iboto dahil linoloko lang nila ang mahihirap,” he added.

For ESA queries, the concerned individual or party may consult the Municipal Action Team (MAT) assigned in the municipality.

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