Cordillera Administrative Region-The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) here reminds the public to be careful in providing donations to groups or individuals who are asking for donations for typhoon Ompong victims.

“We recognize that there are a lot of good hearted people who want to share their resources and help the victims of the past calamities. But we also want to protect them from groups or individuals that may take advantage of them,” DSWD-CAR OIC Regional Director Janet P. Armas said.

DSWD Memorandum Circular (MC) 17 Series of 2014 gives guidance to the Department in providing solicitation permit to individuals, groups, organizations, or offices that wish to solicit monetary donation for public and charitable purposes.

It aims to safeguard donors as well as potential beneficiaries from abuse by implementing guidelines and sanctions related to the conduct of fund raising activities and handling of funds gathered as a result of such activities.

“Solicitation permits help us monitor the authenticity of fund raising activities in our community. Through these, we are able to ensure that the raised money will be used for the welfare of the identified beneficiaries and not for the personal interest of the solicitor.”, Director Armas added.

Any group or organization issued with a solicitation permit is required to submit fund utilization report, list of donors and beneficiaries, and other pertinent documents upon the expiry of issued permit. DSWD Offices issue permits for regional or national fund solicitation activities. The validity of the said permits shall not exceed six (6) months or one (1) year, respectively.  Meanwhile, fund raising activities covering only one municipality or city will be handled by the concerned local government unit.

Non-government organizations, civil society organizations and private entities who wish to conduct fund raising activities are also regulated by the DSWD.

“The DSWD issues authority to conduct fund raising activities. Institutions should be able to present certification or registration. Without this, we cannot assure that they are legitimate”, Director Armas said.

Complaints against individuals or organizations conducting illegal solicitation may be addressed to the DSWD Office or LGU in the area of concern. Legal sanctions may be implemented as stipulated in PD 1564 or the Solicitation Permit Law.

“We thank those who want to extend their help through donations. You may coordinate with the DSWD or go directly to the local government unit that you want to help. But please take the necessary safety measures to assure that your donations will reach those that are truly in need”, Director Armas said. # DSWD-CAR, Social Marketing Unit, Nerizza Faye G. Villanueva

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