QC mayor Belmonte hits 'tedious process' of DSWD aid rollout
Residents of Batasan Hills in Quezon City line up to receive their financial assistance from the government on the second day of distribution on April 8, 2021.
The STAR/Michael Varcas

QC mayor Belmonte hits 'tedious process' of DSWD aid rollout

(Philstar.com) - May 16, 2021 - 10:06am

MANILA, Philippines — Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte slammed what she said was the unnecessarily bureaucratic processes of the Department of Social Welfare and Development's payout for its social amelioration aid.  

In a statement sent to reporters, the local chief executive claimed that the city government received reports that even bedridden patients were made to go to payout sites for verification, while some barangays also reported that the DSWD was not honoring the barangay ID and requiring citizens to submit a residency certificate instead.

"That's just not humane," she said in mixed Filipino and English. 

“I beg the DSWD leadership not to make things harder for our constituents too much. They don't have to sacrifice such a long time even though they also got the first aid,” Belmonte said.

According to the mayor, in Brgy. Bagbag, distribution of the second tranche of social amelioration aid ended at 3:00 a.m. earlier this weekend. Payout in other barangays ended late at night or in the wee hours of the morning, like Barangays Gulod, Capri, San Bartolome and Nagkaisang Nayon.

Distribution of SAP second tranche for 27,051 waitlisted beneficiaries started this weekend at 82 of the city’s 142 barangays, but with a limited number of DSWD personnel manning the payout sites.

Another round of manual payout is yet to be scheduled for the remaining 68,255 beneficiaries. These 95,306 beneficiaries should have received their ayuda last year as part of emergency subsidy program under the Bayanihan to Heal as one Act. 

Belmonte claimed that payout takes longer because there are few DSWD personnel on the site and City Treasurer’s Office and barangay personnel are not allowed to assist in releasing money to speed up the system.

"After the verification, when our QC Social Services Development Department (SSDD) personnel have finished passing, the DSWD will check again. Sometimes, more documents are required. They are on the list precisely because they received the first tranche of assistance, so why prolong their agony?” Belmonte said.

Belmonte noted that last month, distribution of the P1,000 financial assistance to about 2.4 million individuals facilitated by the city under ECQ Ayuda 2021 only had minor kinks and finished way ahead of schedule because additional verifiers and personnel from the city government were deployed.

“Given the volume of beneficiaries we handled and that of the waitlisted now, it is indeed reprehensible why the DSWD is making it difficult for our QCitizens,” Belmonte said.

Disclosure: Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte is a shareholder of Philstar Global Corp., which operates digital news outlet Philstar.com. This article was produced following editorial guidelines.

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