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DSWD releases enhanced guidelines to improve regulatory services

In its continuing efforts to streamline and digitize its programs and services, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) released new guidelines on the registration, licensing, and accreditation (RLA) of Social Welfare and Development Agencies (SWDAs), an agency official said on Thursday (May 22).

“With the upcoming launching of the Harmonized Electronic License and Permit System (HELPS), these guidelines will be beneficial as they provide detailed procedures on the online submission of applications of RLA,” DSWD Standards Bureau (SB) Director Atty. Megan Manahan said.

These guidelines are in the Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 08 series of 2024, MC 09 s. 2024, and MC 18 s. 2024.

MC 08 focuses on the issuance of certificate to private social welfare agencies (SWA) with valid RLA as eligibility for duty exemption on donated imported goods; MC 09 refers to the issuance of public solicitation permit; and MC 18 pertains to the issuance of Certificate of Registration and License to Operate (CRLTO) and Certificate of Accreditation to regulate the SWDAs and their programs and services.

These guidelines aim to ensure continuous improvement in the quality of DSWD regulatory services.

“We put in a lot of effort toward the development of the DSWD HELPS in order to make it very easy and user-friendly to everyone. The process of application of public solicitation permit, duty-exempt importation certification, and the RLA of SWDAs will be seamless through this online platform,” Director Manahan said.

The DSWD is set to launch HELPS that will allow SWDAs to submit their application and requirements for RLA, with real-time monitoring of status features. This streamlined procedure will reduce the previously 49 steps to 12 steps, with a processing time of seven working days.

To provide a deeper understanding of the guidelines, the DSWD SB conducted a pre-publication meeting at the DSWD Central Office in Quezon City last May 14.

“We genuinely thank our partners for their inputs and recommendations that they have provided from the beginning of our journey toward streamlining, re-engineering and digitalization within the Department’s regulatory services. Their invaluable inputs and ideas have played a crucial role in the simplified and enhanced memorandum circulars for the regulatory services” Director Manahan pointed out.

A series of advocacy activities will also be conducted to further promote awareness of the newly released guidelines among partners and stakeholders along the regulatory services of the Department.

The meeting was attended by the members of Area Based Standards Network (ABSNet), an organization of DSWD registered, licensed and accredited SWDAs.

The attendees include ABridge Builder Foundation, Inc.; Concordia Children’s Services, Inc.; Kaisahang Buhay Foundation, Inc.; Love 146, Incorporated; Meritxell Children’s World Foundation, Inc.; SOS Children’s Villages, Inc.; Tahanan ng Pagmamahal Children’s Home, Inc.; The Salvation Army Social Services, Inc.; International Care Ministries Foundation, Inc.; ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Inc.; Childhope Philippines Foundation, Inc.; GMA Kapuso Foundation, Inc.; CFC ANCOP Global Foundation, Inc.; Caritas Manila, Inc.; Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines, Inc.; Save the Children Philippines, Inc.; Pangarap Foundation; and the World Vision Development Foundation, Inc.

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