DSWD 's "BAWAL ANG EPAL DITO" Empower the Public - Ning4u: Anything And Everything's Free
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DSWD 's "BAWAL ANG EPAL DITO" Empower the Public

Last Tuesday January 29, chosen bloggers had a chance to have a "chit-chat" with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Dinky Soliman to discuss their current campaign aptly called "Bawal Ang Epal Dito", which aims to protect people from politicians who might use DSWD's "Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino" to abuse and manipulate constituents in the upcoming elections.

Pantawid Pamilya is a program providing conditional cash grants for poor Filipinos and is now being implemented in 1,605 cities and municipalities in 79 provinces in all 17 regions nationwide. The main objectives of this pivotal DSWD program is to alleviate immediate needs (social assistance) and to break the intergenerational poverty cycle (social development). Eligible households with three children who qualify for assistance receive 1,400Php a month through Land Bank or via other modes of payments. As of January this year, a total of 3,843,502 household beneficiaries have been included in the program.

The May 2013 elections is fast approaching and DSWD is worried that some unscrupulous politicians may take advantage of the Pantawid Pamilya program to gain leverage. In anticipation of such incidents, DSWD is ready to receive reports, feedbacks, and messages about politicians or candidates who may claim to have the authority to enlist and delist household beneficiaries from the program. Complainants can avail of the department's Grievance Redness System by simply sending a text with their "name/area/complaint" to 0918-9122813.

Secretary Soliman said,"No one can delist or enlist names aside from the DSWD Office. As long as you comply with the conditions, the office will be the one to decide about it." She further emphasized this point by saying "Walang ibang magtatanggal sa'yo kundi ang sarili mo, kung hindi ka talaga sumunod o susunod sa mga itinakdang kondisyon." As to politicians who might use the Pantawid Pamilya to exploit and control voters in their constituency, she warned that the DSWD will not hesitate to turn over evidence or witness accounts to the proper authority like the Ombudsman. 

Let us all support "Bawal ang Epal Dito", for this is a valiant DSWD effort and campaign. It not only empowers beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilya program, it also ensures that the voting populace can not and should not be unduly influenced by wayward politicians and electoral candidates.

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