DSWD Secretary issues ‘anti-padrino’ order in welfare assistance

  • DSWD reminds its personnel not to be influenced by endorsement letters from politicians when assessing requests for assistance
  • Social welfare secretary Judy Taguiwalo says that letters from public officials may be considered but it should not bind the personnel assessing the qualification of those applying for assistance
  • She also directs her personnel to facilitate cash transactions inside DSWD offices to ensure their safety

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy Taguiwalo reminded her personnel implementing its social protection services that endorsement letters from politicians should not boost requests for assistance.

In Memorandum Circular 9 Taguiwalo announced via his Facebook account, staff are reminded that these referrals are “not integral” to the agency’s implementation of the Protective Services Program (PSP), which grants welfare assistance to those in need upon request.

“Pakibasa po, mga empleyado ng DSWD at mga beneficiaries ng ahensya: pinagbabawal na po ang paggamit ng impluwensiya ng mga public officials at organisasyon para i-endorso o hadlangan ang pagbigay ng tulong sa mga nangangailangan ?#?SerbisyongWalangPuwangSaKatiwalian,” Taguiwalo said in a Facebook post on Thursday, August 4.

[Please read this, DSWD employees and beneficiaries of the agencies: We are prohibiting the use of influence of public officials and organizations to endorse or bar the provision of assistance to those in need.]

“Referral letters referral letters from individuals, groups of individuals, or organization, including public officials whether national or local executives, legislators, members of the judiciary, or constitutional commission are NOT integral to the implementation of the PSP,” the memorandum said.

While these letters “may be considered,” Taguiwalo clarified that the staff assessing qualified beneficiaries are “not bound” to be influenced by these referrals.

“The DSWD retains SOLE AUTHORITY to determine the beneficiaries of the program pursuant to existing guidelines. As such, DSWD social workers or personnel tasked to evaluate the qualification of beneficiaries are enjoined to strictly adhere to MC6 and to existing circulars prescribing guidelines for the implementation of the PSP,” the memorandum added.

Taguiwalo also ordered her personnel to facilitate cash transactions within the premises of DSWD offices to ensure their safety from threats. In the event that they receive threats, the secretary orders them to report directly to her office so that they may be given the proper protection.