As part of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) initiatives to care for the welfare of the welfare-givers, the Department has established its Claims Board that will facilitate the availment of legal financial assistance from the P200 million Legal Defense Fund (LDF) earmarked by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for all government agencies under the General Appropriations Act (GAA).
LDF covers legal expenses that will be incurred by officials and employees who are facing administrative, civil, or criminal cases in the course of the performance of their official duties and functions.
The establishment of the Claims Board at the Central Office and each Field Office (FO) to process claims for legal expenses is based on DSWD Administrative Order (AO) No. 04, Series of 2017. Claims will be charged under the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund (MPBF) as indicated in the National Budget Circular No. 566 or the “Guidelines in the Utilization of the Legal Defense Fund for FY 2016 and Succeeding Years.”
Criteria for eligibility to the LDF are the following: the Claimant is an employee of the Department or of an attached agency, whether incumbent or otherwise separated from service with a plantilla position; the administrative, civil, or criminal case arose from the regular performance of the Claimant’s official responsibilities and functions; the case is filed before any court under the supervision of the Supreme Court; the claim is being made against the appropriation under the GAA for the year in which the legal expenses were, or would be, actually incurred; and the claim is for a cash advance or for reimbursement for eligible legal expenses.
For employees of the Central Office, the claim must be filed in the Central Office Claims Board (COCB), through its secretariat at the Human Resource and Development Bureau (HRDB).
Meanwhile, FO employees must file their claim before the Field Office Claims Board (FOCB), through their secretariat at the General Administration and Support Services Division (GASSD) of each FO.
Expenses claimed by eligible beneficiaries are submitted to the DBM for further review according to appropriate rules and regulations.
The facilitation of the legal defense fund through the DSWD Claims Board is one of the efforts of the Department to promote and protect the welfare of its employees. -30-