DSWD programs and services continue amidst elections

Cordillera Administrative Region – Beneficiaries and clients of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the region need not fear the temporary stop of the Department’s services.

The Department has received a clarification from the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) regarding the coverage of Section 261 (v) (2) of the Omnibus Election Code (OEC) which was reiterated in COMELEC Resolution No. 10246 dated 15 January 2018 with the title Calendar of Activities and Periods of Certain Prohibited Acts in Connection with the May 14, 2018 Synchronized Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Elections.

COMELEC clarified “for purposes of the 14 May 2018 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections, the DSWD is not covered by the ban under the Section 261 (v) (2) of the OEC.”

This means that the department may continue to disburse funds in relation to its programs and services including the distribution of cash grants to beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT), Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), Social Pension Program, Centenarians, among others.

It may also continue conducting activities in relation to the implementation of DSWD programs and services as well as transfer funds to its implementing partners such as local government units, civil society organizations, and others.

“We would like to assure the public that we will continue providing assistance and service to our clients and stakeholders as long as they are qualified and have complied with our requirements. We will serve the Cordillera people anytime,” DSWD-CAR OIC Regional Director Janet P. Armas said.

However, the implementation of the Kapit-bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) Project is subject to some prohibitions since it involves the release, disbursement and expenditure of public funds in the form of the communities’ cash counterpart.

On the other hand, Director Armas reiterates that the DSWD here maintains its apolitical nature.

“We recognize the important role of our local officials in the delivery of our services to the people that we serve but our loyalty and support will always be with the community. Their welfare will always be our priority above anything else”, Armas shared.

In 2013, the DSWD has released its own guidelines during Election Period through DSWD Memorandum Circular No.10 which safeguard and guide the DSWD, its programs, services, offices and personnel during election period.

By Nerizza Faye G. Villanueva

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