The DSWD Field Office 1 sought the support of Congressional Offices’ Representatives through their Chiefs of Staff on pending House Bills (HBs) 3411 and 4650 entitled Social Welfare and Development Agencies (SWDAs) Act and Public Solicitation Act, in a Consultation Dialogue held at DSWD, San Fernando City, La Union, recently.

The Chiefs of staff, being the research leg work of the Congressmen, are vital in advocating for the passage of these bills, providing insights to Congressmen who are now more focused in bringing welfare and empowerment to the people, Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo mentioned in his message.

Also, OIC- Assistant Regional Director for Administration Nora D. De la Paz posed a challenged to the Chiefs of Staffs to really share their expertise being the ‘think-tank’ of the Congressmen to provide humane rationalization on the advantages of these pending House Bills.

Primarily the HB on SWDAs Act serve as measure to increase accountability, transparency and professionalism among social welfare agencies, auxiliary SWDA, and SWD Network in implementing quality and effective services.

Non-compliant SWDAs or those fly-by-night operators could be sanctioned with at least 1 year but not more than 3 years imprisonment; or at least Php 100,000.00 fine but not more than Php 500,000.00.

Likewise, the House Bill on Public Solicitation Permit seeks to regulate public solicitation undertaken in order to protect the general public from unscrupulous solicitations (illegal, expired or fake).

To protect the funds solicited, DSWD, PSWDO and C/MSWDO monitor their activities and to require these organizations and agencies to submit reports pertaining to the conduct of the public solicitation and the utilization of funds solicited.

Violators could be totally banned to conduct solicitation activities; or imprisonment of not less than 1 year but not more than 3 years or a fine of not less than P100,000.00 but not more than P500,000.00, or both, at the discretion of the court. (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II)