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DSWD NCR continues efforts for COS staff of PSP, CIU and Lingap

The 2018 GAA provisions for the administrative cost of PSP for 2018 were set at 5% contrary to the customary GAA provision of 12%. This change in the GAA provision affected the salaries of the workers which is commensurate to an amount which is equal to the salaries of 836 PSP workers from January to June 2018.

This problem was anticipated by the Department as early as April 2018, an alternative option of request for fund augmentation was explored by the Department. The Department also decided to cut on some activities to augment the salaries of employees but this initiative took care of the salaries of employees from July to September of 2018.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development – National Capital Region (DSWD NCR) clarified that the temporary suspension of services of 177 Cost of Service staff under the Protective Service Program, Crisis Intervention Unit and Lingap Sa Masa whose funds are chargeable against the PSP funds is an unfortunate circumstance not only in the Field Office but across all Field Offices of DSWD.

The lack of funds for the period of October 16 to December 31, 2018 hindered the continuous service of said number of staff which has a huge impact on the operationalization of the programs. As early as August 2018, the staff were informed regarding the nationwide funding dilemma. Nonetheless, the FO NCR management continuously followed up to the Central Office through series of memoranda while Central Office worked hard to lobby to the Department of Budget and Management the additional funding to pay for the services of the COS staff.

“It is but fair for the 177 COS staff to know the real situation which is why after the issuance of the memorandum of temporary suspension of their services on October 18, 2018, the concerned staff were convened and explained to them that while awaiting funding to be downloaded, the services will be temporarily suspended,” Assistant Secretary of the Office of Secretary Group and Concurrent OIC – Regional Director Glenda D. Relova said.

Relova even made representations before the DBM in order to put a stop on the domino effect of the temporary suspension on the program implementation and further, to those who are beneficiaries of the affected programs.

While exhausting all possible means, Relova instructed to prioritize the laid off staff to the available vacant positions in the Field Office.

“Despite of this challenge, DSWD NCR will not stop catering to the clients and individuals in crises situation,” Relova emphasized. Staff augmentation was requested from different Divisions, Units, Sections and Programs in the Field Office to ensure the continuity of the implementation of the programs.

In pursuing the options that the Department needs to take, and in order for all parties involve to have a “win-win” situation, the DSWD management is taking into considerations two sides which is to ensure the continuous delivery of frontline services together with the assurance that the needed number of workers are maintained and will not be displaced.

Relova appealed to the concerned staff to extend their patience and understanding that the top management is doing its best in taking immediate action on this pressing concern. She also solicited the support of the Social Welfare Employees Association of the Philippines (SWEAP) in disseminating the correct information. She ensured that the Union will be provided with updates on the results of the actions that are being undertaken by the management.

“The DSWD is the agency mandated to protect the poor, the vulnerable and the marginalized the same way that we would like to protect the welfare of our staff. It is with heavy heart that the work for the 177 staff of the Field Office were suspended.” Relova said. ###

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