DSWD issues supplemental guidelines on release of P5,000 cash aid to ‘Yolanda’ survivors

Following the conduct of its validation activities, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has issued Memorandum Circular No. 08 or the Supplemental Guidelines ​ensuring the efficient and speedy implementation of the P5,000​ Presidential Financial Assistance (5KPFA) to Typhoon Yolanda-affected households in Regions VI, VII, VIII, and Negros Island Region (NIR). The 5KPFA is the provision of P5,000 cash aid to eligible households, without distinction as to the extent of damage to the home. MC 08 states that eligible household-beneficiaries who do not possess valid identification cards and are in areas with no representatives from people’s organizations (POs) may get certification from the City or Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officers (C/MSWDOs) of their respective Local Government Units (LGUs). The previous guidelines mentioned that in case a household is unable to present any valid ID, the partner-PO to which the identified beneficiary belongs to shall issue a Certification as to the identity of the beneficiary. The PO shall also send a representative during the distribution of the assistance to affirm the identity of the beneficiary. ​Also, in the supplemental guidelines, the DSWD will conduct direct cash or check pay-out for household beneficiaries residing in isolated areas where there is limited or no access to Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) of the LandBank of the Philippines and its bank partners. The beneficiaries will be given the assistance directly through a cash card to be issued by the Land Bank. Other Eligibility Criteria Earlier, the DSWD released Memorandum Circular No. 03 detailing the criteria in the provision of the cash assistance. In order to qualify for the President’s financial assistance, a household must meet all of the following criteria: •The dwelling of the household must have been damaged by ‘Yolanda,’ regardless of the extent of the damage or ownership of the lot on which the house is built; •The household requested assistance from the DSWD on or before November 8, 2016, and must either; •Have been included in one of the lists submitted to the DSWD by People’s Organizations (POs) and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) on or before November 8, 2016; •Have been included in one of the lists of unfunded ESA family-beneficiaries submitted on June 22, 2016 to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM); or •Have submitted, on or before November 8, 2016, a complaint to the DSWD of not having received assistance, which must have been confirmed and validated by the DSWD. Availment process​ To avail of the financial assistance, eligible households must submit the following documents: •Accomplished Financial Assistance Application Form, indicating the demographic information of the household-beneficiary; •Certification issued by the proper barangay authorities on the residency of the household-beneficiary; and •Any valid Identification Card (ID). •Certification executed by the beneficiary that the household has not received any of the following assistance: – Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA), in cash or in kind; – Core Shelters from DSWD under the Core Shelter Assistance Program (CSAP) and Modified Shelter Assistance Program (MSAP); – Permanent housing from National Housing Authority (NHA); or – Any other shelter or housing grant from the government . A total of 196,258 households with damaged houses are targeted to receive the P5,000 financial assistance from the Office of the President. As of March 23, DSWD Field Offices from the said regions have already validated 79,581 households, of which 54,277 households have been evaluated as qualified beneficiaries. Complete receipt of assistance by all beneficiaries is expected by the end of June 2017. DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo said that during the validation, DSWD encountered some concerns which are hampering the implementation of the program. “Because of this, we saw it fit to immediately issue the Supplemental Guidelines on the 5KPFA implementation to address some operational concerns that arose,” she said. “The objective is to provide the much-needed assistance to these families who have been denied of their rights and privileges. That is our goal as part of our principle to provide efficient and compassionate public service. We are well aware that too much time has passed since the ‘Yolanda’ survivors first called for assistance from the DSWD. We know that the 5KPFA is a small amount and far from being enough to cover all the damage their lives and livelihoods sustained. All the same, we hope that it will be of some use to them, ” Sec. Taguiwalo said. #