An official of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) assured the public on Thursday (February 1) that programs and services of the agency will not be utilized for political purposes.
DSWD Asst. Secretary for Strategic Communications Romel Lopez told reporters at the Thursday Media Forum that concerns and speculations that the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program is being used in the ongoing efforts to amend the Charter through the peoples’ initiative are baseless and farthest from the truth.
“Iyon ho ang paglilinaw natin, wala ho, wala at wala pa at sa tingin namin ay wala talagang salapi ng DSWD o salapi ng taong bayan ang magagamit sa PI [peoples initiative],” Asst. Sec. Lopez, who is also the DSWD spokesperson, pointed out.
(That is our clarification, there is none, absolutely none, and we believe that no funds from the DSWD or public funds will be used for the People’s Initiative (PI).)
The AICS program, according to Asst. Sec. Lopez, is a stop-gap mechanism of the DSWD intended for individuals in crisis, providing them with the necessary support for medical, funeral, transportation, burial, and other needs.
“Nakakadalawang hearing na po tayo sa senado, when it comes sa PI, when it comes po doon sa ayuda scam pero ni isang kawani ng DSWD, walang na-identify na involved sa kahit anong alegasyon na ito,” the DSWD spokesperson stressed.
(We have already attended two hearings in the Senate, one regarding the PI, and the other regarding the aid scam, but not a single DSWD employee has been identified as involved in any of these allegations.)
Asst. Sec. Lopez also pointed out that there is no involvement of the agency or any of its personnel in the charter change campaign.
“Wala naman pong nabanggit talaga na, to be honest, na pangyayari na nagamit yung any programa of DSWD. Ang narinig po natin doon, yun daw pong pinangangalandakan ng mga allegedly nangangalap ng pirma. Kumbaga yun po ang kanilang promise na makatatanggap kayo pero wala pong na-disburse at wala pong madi-disburse na pera ng DSWD to that effect,” Asst. Sec. Lopez explained.
(There was really no mention, to be honest, of any incident where any DSWD program was used. What we heard there, that is being proclaimed by those allegedly gathering signatures, is essentially their promise that you will receive something, but no funds from the DSWD have been disbursed or will be disbursed to that effect.)
The DSWD spokesperson reiterated that the DSWD maintains its commitment to properly disburse the public funds for its intended purpose, including the AICS program, which aims to provide persons experiencing difficulties with various forms of aid and support.