DSWD mess an ‘organizational Achilles heel’

Deputy Speaker Ralph Recto on Tuesday described the mess in the distribution of educational assistance as an “organizational Achilles heel” caused by the lack of employees in the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Based on Recto’s computation, the DSWD served 61.6 million people, or more than half the population, with only 2,993 regular employees, which he noted as the “lowest regular staff-to-clientele ratio in the entire bureaucracy.”

“Never has so much been done for so many by so few,” said Recto, the incumbent representative of Batangas.

His calculations show that the DSWD spends “4.5 centavos for every budget peso” on personal compensation, which is less than the ratios of the Department of Education at 81 percent, the Department of Agrarian Reform at 49 percent, and even the national government at 28 percent for “personnel services cost to total budget.”

Citing a Commission on Audit report, Recto also mentioned that most of the DSWD workforce were contract employees, which the deputy speaker referred to as a “permanent band-aid” fix.

The solon stressed that 878 workers for the DSWD were hired on a job-order basis,12,326 were covered by service contracts, and 13,252 were “contractual.”

“Hindi na dapat ipa-Tulfo ‘yan kasi nandyan na si Secretary Tulfo,” said Recto, expressing trust in the welfare secretary’s ability to address the requests of the contractual employees for regularization.

Recto described the DSWD as a giant ATM, or “Ayuda at Tulong Machine” with a P205 billion budget for 2022, which maintains a regular payroll bigger than the national government’s in terms of payees.

The welfare agency program caters to the 4.4 million households of the 22 million persons covered by the 4Ps grant plus the 3,835, 066 indigent seniors who get monthly pensions of P500.

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