DSWD aid for kin of jailed drug surrenderers unused
THE Department of Social Welfare and Development in Central Visayas (DSWD-7) is asking its central office to redefine or revise its guidelines in extending assistance to affected families whose kin are drug surrenderers who are in jail.
Aileen Cuevas, focal person for the family welfare section of DSWD-7, said they have the difficulty in identifying the beneficiaries because of the guidelines and a need for more cooperation especially from the Philippine National Police (PNP).
“These guidelines include a court order for these drug surrenderers (in jail) and (that they) must have completed the rehabilitation process,” Cuevas said in a phone interview yesterday.
She said they would need help from local government units (LGUs) and the PNP to crosscheck the information on the surrenderers, but they have not been getting any from the police.
“We need the names, age and if they undergo rehabilitation process, but we were told (by the police) that the information were confidential,” Cuevas added.
She said DSWD allocated P7 million for the program in Central Visayas last October to be utilized before the year ends. But it remained unused since they have not identified the beneficiaries yet.
Under the program, the family-beneficiary can receive financial assistance every after six months, with the amount to be determined after evaluation by social workers, said Anthony Arsenal, planning officer III of DSWD-7.
Arsenal told the reporters in a press conference yesterday that they had already submitted their recommendation to their central office to revise its guidelines so they can immediately identify and assist the beneficiaries.
DSWD is the lead agency in the national government’s “Aftercare, Reintegration and Transformation Support for Recovering Drug Dependents” program.
Social Welfare Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo, in a statement, said the program is in line with the call of President Rodrigo Duterte to eliminate drugs in the country and to provide government-wide full support to the recovering drug dependents and their families.
DSWD will work with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Commission on Higher Education (Ched), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Health (DOH) Department of Justice – Parole and Probation Administration, Dept. of Trade and Industry (DTI), Dept. of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Technological and Skills Development Authority (Tesda), the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).
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