CARAGA – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office (FO) Caraga initiated simultaneous monitoring and post-validation of the families who received the Php 5,000.00 under the Social Amelioration Programs (SAP), through the Emergency Subsidy Program (ESP). The said validation began in the third week of April – right after several municipalities in the region started the subsidy release.
The purpose of the monitoring is to ensure, and verify whether the families served of the emergency subsidy are eligible and qualified, based on the guidelines stipulated on the Joint Memorandum Circular 01 (released on March 28, 2020) and the Omnibus Guidelines (released on April 9, 2020). Equally, this measure was initiated by the management of the DSWD FO Caraga to keep track of the grievances on the field and guarantee that these are addressed immediately.
Since April 14, various municipalities have already been monitored by the Social Amelioration Program Monitoring Teams – Butuan City, Cabadbaran City, Las Nieves, Remedios T. Romualdez, Buenavista, Kitcharao, Alegria, Sison, Malimono, Mainit, Bayabas, Carmen (Surigao del Sur), Cortes, and Tago.
During the activity, SAP Monitoring Teams composed of Field Office regional staff have been created to conduct monitoring of the implementation at the ground, verifying families covered by conducting actual interviews of the households. Random families were checked and validated by the monitoring teams. Although most families monitored were verified to be eligible recipients, a few families were also found out to be ineligible.
The teams also conducted meetings with the Local Social Welfare and Development Officers to check on important documents to support the program’s implementation, and finally, present the findings of the verification process during exit conference (to the Municipal Mayor and the LSWDO) for action on the part of the LGU.
Based on the Omnibus Guidelines, LGUs with ineligible recipients will refund the monetary assistance released to these families and allot the slots to families identified to be most affected during the Enhanced Community Quarantine, who are poorest of the poor, have low income, or lost their jobs or source of income.
Consequently, the monitoring also paved the way for the agency to address queries of the LGU and the Barangay Local Government Unit (BLGU) officials. The regional staff explained thoroughly the important matters regarding the program and frequently asked questions particularly the selection of eligible recipients and the list of beneficiaries handed down by the agency which was allegedly the one strictly and solely used to determine the beneficiaries. DSWD FO Caraga stressed that the list released by the office is only a reference list – providing the LGUs the autonomy to identify families who have met the qualifications stipulated in the guidelines.
This week and in the succeeding weeks, more areas in the region will be visited and monitored by the teams. DSWD FO Caraga aims to monitor all of the cities and municipalities covered by the emergency subsidy to be certain that families who are in dire need are the ones prioritized and given the assistance they need.
The Emergency Subsidy Program is one of the assistance schemes under the Social Amelioration Program which shall be provided by the national government to around 18 million family beneficiaries in the country. In the Caraga Region, the recipients shall receive an amount of Php 5,000.00 which was based on the regional daily minimum wage of the region.
The subsidy intends to provide for the basic food, medicine, and toiletries of the families affected by the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). (Social Marketing Section/DSWD Field Office Caraga)