DSWD denies alleged irregularities in cash aid for Marawi IDPs

By Leilani Junio

November 9, 2017, 3:15 pm

MANILA -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has denied alleged corrupt practices in the distribution of cash assistance for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Marawi City.

Information officer of DSWD-Soccsksargen’s Social Marketing Unit, Dennis Domingo II, said there are areas of assignment and steps to follow in claiming the cash assistance and it is unlikely that the alleged "irregularities" mentioned in a social media post addressed to Task Force Bangon Marawi, occurred along the way.

"I don't think na totoo yan na merong kinuha from IDP beneficiaries. Kasi, merong 'received' copy yung ating social workers… May tinatawag na Disaster Assistance and Family Access Card (DAFAC) system -- parang card nila as proof that they are identified constituents of a particular barangay (I don’t think it is true that funds meant for IDP beneficiaries were taken. Social workers have a ‘received’ copy… There is this Disaster Assistance and Family Access Card system. This card proves that they are identified constituents of a particular barangay)," Domingo said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Wednesday.

With the steps to be followed in the claiming process, it would be very difficult for the alleged corrupt practice to happen, he said.

In the post, a certain Kim Amber alleged that the PHP5,000 being distributed among IDP families identified in barangays in Marawi is being used to line the pockets of corrupt people from the DSWD. Kim said only 10 percent of the people in a barangay receive the assistance, while the funds for the 90 percent are pocketed by corrupt people.

Domingo said he has witnessed how complex the verification process is, during which beneficiaries are identified through a step-by-step procedure before they receive the cash assistance and “pabaon” packs that include one sack of rice, hygiene and kitchen kits, which are given through coupons that beneficiaries need to present.

He said he has photos and videos that would show the process.

Domingo said the post could have originated from affected families who are still undergoing the verification process.

He said they are hastening this process so that deserving families would get the assistance.

Domingo further assured that they would check the veracity of the complaint. He also said people could relay their concerns through text hotline 0918-912-2813, or they could coordinate with the city social welfare office, or lodge their complaint with the barangay captains.

This week, IDP families in barangays Datu Saber, Barrio Green and Luksa Datu are set to receive their assistance. (PNA)