By Maya M. Padillo
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 11 Regional Director Mercedita Jabagat clarified to media that militant group PASAKA is not an accredited partner of DSWD in relation to the implementation of programs for the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) communities.
The DSWD and PASAKA entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in April this year to give the lumads access to DSWD programs such as Cash for Work, Social Pension to qualified older persons, Feeding Programs, sustainable livelihood programs, and the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer-Indigenous Peoples.
“It is still an MOU up to the moment,” Jabagat said.
As a policy, DSWD regional offices are mandated to assess and validate an organization before it can be accredited as DSWD partner. During the validation PASAKA officers were not around to fill out the forms, she said.
“Kay wala man na fill out wala na accredit sa DSWD ug wala na forward sa Manila The region should be the validating and assessing agency. We will also recommend the approval or disapproval of the accreditation. It’s not true that PASAKA is accredited already as far as Region 11 is concerned,” she said.
DSWD’s move to partner with PASAKA coincided with the mandate of implementing programs that aim to alleviate poverty.
The MOU also aims to provide relief items, community tribal centers, and water source system in IP communities.