Aid seekers rush for indigency cert

Residents wanting to avail of the cash assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development flock to their respective barangays in Caloocan, Malabon, and Valenzuela, to secure a certificate of indigency despite the department’s announcement that it is no longer necessary.

The long lines of residents in barangays Longos, Tugatog, Muzon, and Tonsuya added to the already heavy vehicular traffic on the main roads of Malabon City, which is preparing for the upcoming fiesta.
In Valenzuela City, residents of barangays Karuhatan, Pasolo, and Malinta queued as early as 5 a.m.

The line was manageable though in some barangays in Caloocan City but several residents complained of slow processing.

“We are also surprised by the sudden number of residents asking for the Certificate of Indigency today, there is no problem in our barangay, we give it out for free, we are just asking our people to line up properly and please follow the health protocols, it is for their own sake,” Barangay Longos Kagawad Eric de la Cruz said.

DSWD Secretary Erwin Tulfo, after a recent courtesy call on House Speaker Martin Romualdez, said the CoI is no longer necessary, however, the beneficiaries’ daily salary should not be above the minimum wage.

“Our priority is below the minimum wage, the poorest of the poor, those who have no income or those whose salary (parents) are low. If it is above the minimum wage, ‘wag na pong pumila,” he said in a statement.

According to resident Myra Quitlong, the CoI is their best proof that they are poor.

“We don’t have any proof of our life status, that is why it is important for us to get one,” she said.

Meanwhile, DSWD Assistant Secretary Romel Lopez said Friday they will verify the real economic status of those asking for assistance through the address in the application form.

“It’s their choice if they want to bring a certificate of indigency, there’s no problem, we said that it’s not necessary to bring these documents because it’s our social workers’ specialties to interview them and find out if those asking for help are really telling the truth. Our social workers will confirm if they’re really poor. Isn’t it that ‘honestly is the best policy?.’ But if we find out that they lied, we’ll go after them,” Lopez added.

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