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Cayetano urges DSWD to set up regional hotlines

Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday urged the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to set up regional hotlines to increase its capacity to respond to concerns related to government efforts on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency.

In a Facebook live video, Cayetano pointed out that regions and areas in the country have different situations from one another, and a dedicated hotline for each region would help tailor-fit the response for each of them.

"We are recommending that yung hotlines will be regional. Huwag nating kalimutan na iba ang sitwasyon sa Basulta, iba ang sitwasyon sa Zambonga, iba ang sitwasyon sa Gen San, sa Davao, sa Bohol, sa Iloilo, sa Bacolod, sa Cebu," he said.

"It would be good kung regional yung ating hotline kasi mas akma ang magiging response at tsaka advice," he added.

Cayetano said one concern forwarded to the DSWD is regarding the social amelioration card forms, and it mostly comes from residents in Region III, IV-A, and the National Capital Region.

"[In these regions], from 54 to 64% ang calculation ng families belonging to the 18 million Filipino families. Samantalang as you go outside Greater Metro Manila, it goes to 78 to 90% kasi mas marami doon ang poor under yung qualifications sa ating gobyerno," he said.

The Speaker said he already discussed the recommendation with the DSWD and they are already considering it.

Deputy Speaker Luis Raymund Villafuerte last week called out the DSWD for its "cumbersome set of rules" that delayed the release of the cash subsidy for low-income households affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

He urged the department to fix its rules as soon as possible, because the next big challenge for them is how barangay officials will hand over the cash subsidy to intended beneficiaries at the quickest possible time.

On Sunday, DSWD spokesperson Dir. Irene Dumlao on Sunday said the department has already started giving out the cash subsidy to qualified beneficiaries, whether they are part of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or not. —LDF, GMA News