Countless Filipinos including celebrities have organized donation drives since the COVID-19 outbreak began, for the benefit of frontliners and urban poor communities. But not everyone should be doing this, according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), who urged charitable individuals to secure a government permit first before organizing fundraising activities.
In an advisory that appeared on its Twitter account today, the department said that Presidential Decree No. 1564 or the Solicitation Permit Law, mandates that the DSWD should “regulate the solicitation of donations and receiving of contributions for charitable or public welfare purposes. Hence, no person or organization shall conduct any form of solicitation in the country without first securing a permit from [the] DSWD.”
For those asking about public solicitation, kindly read the attached advisory from our Standards Bureau on how to get a solicitation permit during the ECQ. Thank you. #DSWDMayMalasakit. Maagap at Mapagkalingang Serbisyo! pic.twitter.com/gjE7TU0IOa
— @dswdserves (@dswdserves) April 16, 2020
The DSWD said that “all entities must apply for a solicitation permit with the nearest DSWD office, which has jurisdiction over the area where one wishes to conduct the solicitation activity.” The permit is not free, however, and organizations and individuals can pay for it at any Landbank branch or through online banking. Exempted from seeking permits are local government units and organizations that were created by the law to solicit funds from the public.
Many netizens castigated the DSWD for issuing the advisory, such as Twitter user @PuppyBarf who said, “Private donations have been keeping our community alive! 4 weeks into quarantine and most families have not received the government’s help. Are you going to wait for families to die before allowing us to help? Do you want this kind of blood on your hands?”
Private donations have been keeping our community alive! 4 weeks into quarantine and most families have not received the government’s help. Are you going to wait for families to die before allowing us to help? Do you want this kind of blood on your hands?
— Stephanie (@PuppyBarf) April 16, 2020
The DSWD has promised that they will give as much as PHP8,000 (US$157) in cash aid to poor families who have been left unemployed by the pandemic. However, many Filipinos have complained that they have yet to receive a single cent from the department.