No to politicians using gov’t aid for personal gains: DSWD

By Connie Calipay


LEGAZPI CITY --- The Department of Social Welfare and Development in Bicol (DSWD-5) has reiterated that “No Epal” campaign that aims to protect the government education assistance under the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program from being used by politicians.


In an interview on Monday, Marygizelle Mesa, DSWD-5 information officer, reminded the learner-beneficiaries and their families that no politician or group has the right to claim the said program.


“DSWD-Bicol is committed to the ethical, responsible, and principled implementation of its programs and services. It is apolitical and frowns upon politicians who tend to use the agency for their personal campaigns. DSWD is focused on ensuring that the marginalized and vulnerable sectors are all covered through the help of its partner agencies,” Mesa said.


Asked whether there were politicians claiming credit for the DSWD financial assistance, she said: “Nagpost yung official na sa kanya yung assistance, parang sideline lang kami (An official posted on social media claiming the assistance was his/her own and the agency (DSWD) seemed to just be on the sideline).”


“Epal” is a colloquial Filipino term for someone grabbing credit for public attention, often by putting their name or face on projects that are not theirs.


Mesa said the educational aid is one of the many forms of assistance being provided by the DSWD.


“The source of the funds intended for this program is taken from the annual budget of the national government as provided for in the General Appropriations Act as of this date. We wish to inform the public that DSWD is the implementing and funding agency, and has requested the logistical support of the local government units (LGUs) for a bigger and more conducive venue, medical support team, and security for a more organized and comfortable distribution of the educational assistance,” she said.


Based on data from Aug. 20 to Sept. 3, this year, DSWD-Bicol already distributed P47.7 million in educational assistance to 15,856 learner-beneficiaries. (PNA)