DSWD to validate beneficiaries after release of COVID-19 cash aid

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To ensure faster release of cash assistance amid the COVID-19 crisis, the government will check if recipients are qualified beneficiaries only after they receive the aid, the Department of Social Welfare and Development said Thursday. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 16) — To ensure faster release of cash assistance amid the COVID-19 crisis, the government will check if recipients are qualified beneficiaries only after they receive the aid, the Department of Social Welfare and Development said Thursday.

The agency said it amended its guidelines on the Social Amelioration Program to “expedite distribution” since the validation process has been causing delays.

"Thus, local government units (LGUs) may proceed with the distribution of the cash aid within 24 hours upon receipt of the funds from the Department,” said DSWD in an advisory.

The department will validate within 15 days from the time it received the documents from the LGUs, indicating that they have already given the money.

DSWD added that families who accidentally got more aid than intended will not receive subsidy the next month.

“Those found to be duplicates will no longer be able to avail the social amelioration subsidy in the succeeding month,” Undersecretary Camilo Gudmalin said in a press briefing.

Under the program’s guidelines, low-income households, workers from the informal economy and members of the vulnerable sector are the qualified beneficiaries. These include families under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), contracted and subcontracted workers, homeworkers, house helpers, drivers, farmers and others.

Those under the scheme shall receive ₱5,000 to ₱8,000 in cash and kind from April to May 2020 for daily needs.

As of April 15, DSWD said it has already provided over ₱67 billion worth of subsidies to 1,239 LGUs. Some 282,954 low-income families who are not part of the 4Ps also got ₱1.57 billion.

The agency added they have appealed to the Department of Local and Interior Government to include barangay police officers or barangay tanods in the list of beneficiaries. It also urged mayors to come up with their own funds to help families who are not qualified for a subsidy.