The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has issued a warning to the public against criminal extortionists posing as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) enumerators.

The Department, through its Field Office (FO) in Region VII, received a report from a concerned citizen in Cebu City that a certain woman is posing as a DSWD employee and going around communities asking for P128 from residents in exchange for the processing of requirements (P50 for the cedula and P78 for the voter’s certificate). The woman is said to be issuing promises that those who pay will be included in the 4Ps program.

According to DSWD FO-VII Director Ma. Evelyn B. Macapobre, the fake enumerator is taking advantage of the ongoing Listahanan On-Demand Application (ODA) assessment for families who were not assessed during the second round of household assessment in 2015.

She explained, “Right now, we are conducting the Listahanan ODA assessment process. We have to explain that even if a household has already been assessed, it does not mean that it will automatically become a beneficiary of any government program particularly Pantawid Pamilya because as of now, we are not taking in more members.”

Based on the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) or Listahanan, there are still 260,118 households nationwide who were not assessed during the data collection phase last 2015. Enumerators are tasked to assess these households and the households who appealed during the Listahanan’s validation phase.

Meanwhile, DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo expressed her concern regarding the issue and warned the public that government agencies, especially the DSWD, do not solicit money from people so they can be included in any program of the government. She said that false representation is a crime and punishable under the law. She also said that collecting money from members of the public in exchange for their registration into government programs including those of the DSWD is illegal.

“Inuulit namin hindi nagdaragdag ang DSWD ng mga bagong miyembro ng Pantawid dahil naka-tuon ang ahensya ngayon sa pagsasaayos ng programa,lalo na sa aspeto ng membership nito at sa mga maraming ulat ng mga iregularided (We reiterate that the Pantawid Program is not accepting new members because we are in the process of addressing the irregularities in the program with the aim to improve its implementation and address the anomalies concerning the true economic status of many of its members ),” said Sec. Taguiwalo.

“Mahigpit na ipinatutupad ng ahensya ang serbisyong walang puwang sa katiwalian kaya hinihikayat namin ang publiko na i-report sa amin o sa hotline 8888 ang kanilang mga reklamo para maitala at matugunan (One of the core values of the DSWD that we strictly enforce is ‘service free from corruption.’ This is the reason why we encourage the public to report their complaints to us or to the hotline 8888),” the Secretary added.

Finally, the Department also reminded households who are being assessed by Listahanan to request to see the ID numbers of their enumerators and to immediately report to the DSWD or any Listahanan office if they have complaints regarding their assessment such as attempted extortion. ###