As the campaign season for the 2022 national elections draws near, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has enacted an internal policy to safeguard its programs and services from politicking.
DSWD has issued Memorandum Circular No. 09, series of 2021 or the Policy Guidelines on Strengthening Partnership with Stakeholders During Election and Non-Election Periods, in consideration of the upcoming election period and in response to perennial issues of certain programs being used for personal and political advancement.
“This policy institutionalizes the Department’s previous campaign of Bawal ang Epal Dito (No to attention-seekers) which addressed election-related issues and complaints, especially on the implementation of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps),” the DSWD said in a statement on Friday.
The conditional cash transfer 4Ps have been mentioned by political candidates in their campaigns and included in information materials like posters.
With the policy in place, the DSWD will be strengthening its partnership with beneficiaries and partner-organizations along four major pursuits: Bantay (watchdog); Gabay (mentor); Kaagapay (co-implementer); and Tulay (link).
“This means that the DSWD will seek the active engagement of program-beneficiaries, as well as partner-organizations in ensuring that no program or service of the DSWD will be used in any personal or political activity,” the agency stated.
Instead of focusing on the election period alone, the agency will also incorporate advocacy and awareness campaign against politicking as part of its year-long communications initiative.