Palace defends DSWD anti-epal campaign-A A +A
Monday, January 7, 2013
MALACANANG defended Monday the reported P10.5-million allocation of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for its “anti-epal” campaign, saying it is meant to prevent patronage politics.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said they received reports that several local government officials are threatening beneficiaries of the conditional transfer program of getting delisted if they will not vote for them in the 2013 midterm elections.
“What we are trying to safeguard against is that the program becomes a tool for patronage politics. Ayaw po nating mangyari ‘yon,” she said.
The Palace official made the clarification following the statement of Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casiño questioning the agency’s move to spearhead an “anti-epal” campaign.
He said it is not part of the mandate of the DSWD and could only be a “waste of money.”
Valte said the fund came from the DSWD’s social marketing service (SMS), a unit that helps in the development of the department’s various programs.
While she could not confirm if the budget was indeed P10.5 million, she said it covers personnel services, maintenance and other operating expenses and capital outlay.
Valte stressed that through an information campaign, beneficiaries of the anti-poverty program would be made aware of their rights.
“This is part of the advocacy of the DSWD to ensure that the beneficiaries know they are in the program because they are qualified beneficiaries as identified by the national household targeting system,” she said.
“Secondly, we want them to know that they will only be delisted from the program if they do not comply with the agency’s requirements and not because a certain government official says so,” she added. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)