DSWD launches ReliefAgad app for SAP distribution

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 20, 2020   •   2611

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has launched ReliefAgad app to expedite the process for the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

Collecting data for the SAP beneficiaries as well as the distribution of the cash assistance will be made through the app. The app will be interfaced with any electronic payment system for the cash assistance distribution.

“Based on feedback gathered from the implementation of the SAP first tranche, we are streamlining our processes to allow local government units to gather beneficiary data and distribute assistance more efficiently,” according to DSWD Usec. Danilo Pamonag.

The ReliefAgad will have an initial pilot run in the National Capital Region (NCR) before it will be launched nationwide. AAC

DSWD allots P100k per field office for PWD assistive devices

Robie de Guzman   •   July 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has announced that starting this year, an annual budget of P100,000 will be allocated for each of its field offices to provide assistive devices for persons with disability (PWD) in the country.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the DSWD said the move is in line with its mandate of providing programs and services to vulnerable sectors, especially the PWDs.

“The person with disability sector is among the most affected by the declaration of community quarantine brought about by the spread of COVID-19 in the country,” it said.

“To help them regain and develop their self and social enhancement, the DSWD, through its Field Offices will provide augmentation support for the assistive devices of blind and low vision, deaf/hearing impaired, and orthopedically and physically challenged individuals,” it added.

The DSWD said these devices may include talking laptops and tablets, talking canes/smart canes, and Braille system for the blind and visually impaired; hearing aids with beamforming technology, customized headphones, and Cochlear implant for deaf and hearing impaired; motorized wheelchair, customized wheelchair, tri-wheelchair bike, talking watch, customized artificial eyes, and neuro-prosthesis for the orthopedically and physically challenged.

“Persons with disability may request for the augmentation support of their assistive devices through the Focal Person on Persons with Disability Welfare Program and Assistance for Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) at the Crisis Intervention Units (CIUs) of the DSWD Field Offices,” the department said.

With the current situation, the DSWD said PWDs may send representatives to apply and claim for assistance at the field offices in their areas.’

Social Welfare Action Development teams in the provinces are also mobilized to accept applications and send these to the Field Offices for processing, it added.

To avail of the assistive devices, the PWDs are advised to prepare and submit the following documents:

  • Medical certificate indicating the disability with date issued
  • Full name and signed by attending physician which will be valid for 3 months
  • Request for assistive devices and quotation showing the amount of the assistive device
  • Barangay Indigency Certificate of the person with disability or client
  • One valid identification card

“The Department hopes that through these assistive devices, the persons with disability will continue to be productive and contributing members of society, despite their disability, in these critical times,” the DSWD said.

DSWD urges public anew to report fraudulent use of PWD IDs

Robie de Guzman   •   June 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Tuesday reiterated its call on the public to report individuals who are illegally using persons with disability (PWD) identification cards.

The DSWD renewed its appeal following reports circulating on social media about people posing as PWDs to avail of the benefits and privileges intended for persons with disabilities.

Administrative Order No. 001, Series of 2008, issued by the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA), states that PWD IDs shall only be issued to persons with permanent disabilities due to any one or more of the following conditions: psychosocial, chronic illness, learning, mental, visual, orthopedic, speech, and hearing conditions.

These also include persons suffering from disabling diseases resulting from their limitations to perform day-to-day activities as normally as possible.

Under Republic Act No. 10754 or the Act Expanding the Benefits and Privileges of Persons with Disability, PWDs are given 20% discounts; exemption to value-added tax (VAT); 5% discount on basic necessities and prime commodities; and free use of express lanes in commercial and government transactions.

The department noted that the issuance of the PWD ID will only be through the Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO), located in every city or municipality in the country.

The DSWD warned that falsification of public documents and the use of falsified documents are criminal offenses and are punishable under the Revised Penal Code.

It urged the public to report incidents involving the illegal use of PWD ID to the NCDA through council@ncda.gov.ph or report to the PDAO or to any law enforcement agency.

The DSWD said it will coordinate with concerned agencies to monitor the issue.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government earlier directed local government units to be stricter in the issuance of PWD IDs. It also urged business establishments to report instances on the use of fake PWD IDs to the police and issuing LGUs for proper action.

SAP cash aid will continue despite Bayanihan Law expiration – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   June 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The expiration of Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act will not affect the release and distribution of the cash assistance intended for low-income households gravely affected by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, Malacañang said on Thursday.

“Sa ngayon, wala namang epekto,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said during a virtual presser. “Hindi naman po sakop iyan ng Bayanihan Act. It’s a physical act of disbursing what has been allotted by Congress. So wala pong problema iyan.”

Under Bayanihan Law, the government is mandated to provide emergency subsidies ranging from P5,000 to P8,000 under the Social Amelioration Program to 18 million poor households who are heavily affected by the community quarantine.

In the first tranche of the program, family beneficiaries living in enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) have already received cash aid. In the second tranche, additional five million families living in ECQ areas will receive subsidy from the government.

Roque expressed his belief that the government did its job when it came to distributing financial assistance to the program’s intended beneficiaries and other sectors affected by the pandemic.

He also believes that the government has implemented the necessary measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country, such as the procurement of test kits, personal protective equipment, ventilators and other medical supplies.

“Bagaman tumaas, kung ikukumpara sa buong daigdig, di naman po ganuon ka-grabe, third in ASEAN but worldwide, I think we’ve done a very good job, lalong lalo na po sa paglimit ng mortality,” he said.

Roque, however, admits that the Bayanihan Law’s expiration will affect the country’s further needs if the public health crisis continues and more people will become infected with the virus.

“Makakaapekto po yan sa future needs natin, kita ninyo naman ang nangyari sa Cebu… Ang istorya ng Cebu ay istorya ng buong Pilipinas. Kapag sumipa po ang numero ng COVID-19, napakarami pong pangangailangan,” he said, referring to Cebu City which appears to be an emerging virus hotspot after recording a spike in the number of infections.

Meanwhile, Roque said the chief executive may call for a special session of Congress once the proposed economic stimulus program to help ride out the coronavirus pandemic is finalized.

“Magpapatawag po ang presidente ng special session kung mayroon na pong nabuong concensus kung magkano ang nabuong stimulus package dahil napasama na po sa isang panukalang batas yung extension ng emergency powers at stimulus package,” he said.

The Congress adjourned sine die its first regular session early this month without passing the proposed second Bayanihan Act.

The Palace earlier said the government prefers a proposed economic stimulus that it can afford and will not require too much borrowing.

Congress will resume its session in July. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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