Sat. Sep 18th, 2021

MANILA – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Wednesday said it has seen improvement since the launching of its ReliefAgad app that seeks to fast-track data gathering and aid distribution of the government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

However, while the application enabled the public to register on their own, the agency reminded that all registrations will still undergo thorough checking before being approved.

“Successful registration does not automatically mean that your cash grant is approved. DSWD will have to process your data by checking other programs,” the ReliefAgad website read.

Andrew Ambubuyog, director of DSWD Information and Communication Technology Management Service, said as of Monday, the number of registrations nationwide via the app has reached 1,900,000, two weeks since it was launched.

This number of applicants would take about a month of data gathering and require more manpower from the local government unit (LGU), Ambubuyog added.

The LGU and/or DSWD will announce the schedule of the cash assistance distribution in the applicant’s area, the website stated.

They have also requested that the applicants shall only input the correct information to expedite the processing and approval Social Amelioration Card (SAC).

The ReliefAgad app is a quick-relief system that would enable the DSWD to expedite capturing SAC details, and interface with any electronic payment systems.

The introduction of the ReliefAgad system will improve the gathering of beneficiary data by taking advantage of mobile phone technology.

It is a product of the partnership between DSWD, Department of Information and Communications Technology, USAID, and Developers Connect Philippines Community of Technology Partners (DEVCON).

“ReliefAgad will enable the DSWD to expedite capturing SAC details and provide data that they can use to disburse cash assistance quickly through electronic payment systems. We designed this app with the goal of quickly deploying it in emergency situations,” DEVCON Founder and Talino Venture Labs Chief Executive Officer Winston Damarillo said in a statement.

ReliefAgad will cater to the needs of both implementing government agencies, and the beneficiaries. By combining crowdsourcing and manual encoding of local government units, and leveraging on a tech-savvy population, the government will be able to give relief immediately, he added.

As of 8 p.m. of May 26, the DSWD said it has disbursed a total of PHP99 billion.

Some PHP18,167,471,650 of it was directly released to 4,199,592 Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4P’s) families through their cash cards while PH80,276,679,450 were disbursed by LGUs to 13,253,793 non-4P’s beneficiaries.

Meanwhile, the department said it will wait for the written directive or executive order from the Office of the President which will serve as basis in crafting the implementing guidelines for the second tranche.

In distributing the subsidy, DSWD, as directed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte, will tap the assistance of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police.

The department has to make sure that there is no duplication of cash assistance benefits among the recipients.

Beneficiaries of 4Ps and Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers or TUPAD, among others, will be cross-matched.

“The Central Office will conduct the deduplication. We name match beneficiaries of the Department of Labor and Employment, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Department of Agriculture, and Small Business Wage Subsidy to see if there have been any cases of duplication,” DSWD spokesperson Irene Dumlao said in a media group. (PNA)

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