The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office 7—Central Visayas agreed with the Cebu Provincial Government to provide persons with disabilities with financial assistance using quick-response or QR-coded electronic card technology.

The signing of an agreement between DSWD 7 Regional Director Shalaine Marie S. Lucero and Cebu Governor Gwendolyn F. Garcia on July 3, 2024, at the Social Hall of the Cebu Capitol Building signifies a strong partnership between DSWD and the Provincial Capitol to help the PWDs.

Through the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS) program of DSWD, poor PWDs identified by the Listahanan 3 database and non-4Ps residents of the province will receive a one-time assistance of Php 3,500 each loaded to a card, which they will use to purchase prime commodities from accredited stores.

According to DSWD 7 Regional Director Shalaine Marie S. Lucero, the Department gave an initial Php 40.1 million, which will benefit 10,249 beneficiaries of the financial assistance with other interventions.

“More than the cash aid, there will be a conditionality attached to it in the form of other social interventions such as registration for PWD IDs, linkage to self-help groups in their communities, and referral to other government agencies for other needs,” she said.

DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian, who witnessed the signing of agreements between the Province of Cebu and DSWD 7, represented by Director Lucero, said that the mechanism is worth emulating.

“Our partnership begins with the use of your existing technologies that have become a working template for other provinces to start using—a Cebuano template for social protection technology that brings social welfare services in a dignified manner,” the agency chief said.

For Secretary Gatchalian, the Cebuano model of implementing social protection programs and services is fast and a graft-free, efficient, and empowering mechanism that he will help push other LGUs to copy.

Cebu Province has been using QR-coded cards to help their constituents since the COVID-19 outbreak. Since then, it has become an effective way of delivering social services that avoids unnecessary spending other than food items.

The DSWD will use the same card system for the scaled-up implementation of the Food Stamp Program, an innovation project of the Department now being rolled out in the Central Visayas region.

DSWD targeted 10,170 beneficiaries in Cebu province to receive Php 3,000 in monthly credits through an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card for three years to purchase food commodities from partner retail stores. ###

(61) Views