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FEATURE: Breaking the Barriers

It’s written in all the communication paraphernalia, be it in a Sticker, Poster, Flyer or a Tarpaulin. A catchy phrase that is synonymous with accountability and transparency. It reads: “May Reklamo sa Pantawid Pamilya? Mag-text sa 0918-912-2813.” This text hotline is just one of the many modes by which anyone can file his complaints, suggestions and recommendations on how the country’s version of the Conditional Cash Transfer is being implemented. This is how the Grievance Redress System works.

Commonly known as GRS, this system encourages the public to have active involvement in program implementation that is vital in ensuring more effective and more efficient delivery of social services, especially of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. It also guarantees that the grievances elevated will be addressed immediately.

Through the years, the system has already undergone different innovations and developments to adopt with the demands of the fast-changing society, especially with the advent of modern technology.

GRS now offers various ways for the public to communicate their grievances. Tech-savvy citizens may opt for Facebook, Twitter or Gmail; while some still resort through text or through GRS Form.

The 17 regions nationwide has also come up with their own ideas and methods, all geared towards a more reliable and more dependable feedbacking and grievance resolution system.

Out of Cagayan Valley Region’s Box

In order to monitor and evaluate the progress of resolving complaints and concerns on the program, the Regional Project Management Office of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in Region 02 intensified its implementation of the Unified Information Communication System or UNICS. Most of the complaints received are on payment issues (not on payroll list) and compliance verification issues (low entitlement).All of these issues are addressed and processed through updating and accomplishing the required retroactive forms to facilitate the payment of grants wherein the region recorded a 99.36% resolution rate.

The efforts of the GRS Officers and the Monitoring and Evaluation Officers also resulted to the creation of “Localized End to End Retro-Payment” that provides a proactive response in resolving payment and compliance verification issues. Through this initiative, the retroactive payments are processed through the generation of CVS Retro Forms, thus, achieving a fast turn-around time of resolving complaints at the city/municipal level.

The RPMO also devised the “Written Warning Form” for prompt resolution on cases of multiple violations and deviation from program’s regulations such as gambling, misuse of grants and other related misdemeanor.

Performance and Action

The hurdles confronting Pantawid Pamilya staff, as well as with our partner implementers, continue to increase as we trudge forward in implementing the program. Receipt and resolution of grievances have always been the responsibilities of the GRS Team, but the understanding and identifying the limitations of the system have also been greater challenges.

Everyday, the GRS officers receive hundreds of complaints. Most of these grievances are about payment issues like lower entitlement to cash grants or not being included in the payroll list. Whatever the complaint is, whatever mode was used, the GRS assures the sender of a reliable and quick response. And one of the beneficiaries who can attest to this is Jerry Gazzingan, 43 years old, from the municipality of Santa Maria, in the province of Isabela.

The Gazzingan family is one of the 97, 708 family beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in Region II. Just like others, Jerry is thankful for his family is a recipient of the program.

“Napakalaking tulong ng Pantawid Pamilya sa amin, kasi may katuwang na kaming mag-asawa sa pagtugon sa mga pangangailangan ng aming mga anak sa eskwelahan, at yung para sa kalusugan nila,” Jerry shared.

“Pero higit sa tulong pinansiyal, ay yung mga aral na naibigay sa akin dahil sa Family Development Sessions. Sa pamamagitan ng FDS, mas napalawak ang aking kaalaman sa maraming bagay tulad ng Responsible Parenting, Active Citizenship, Family Planning at iba pa. Kaya naman, may pag-unlad na naganap sa aking sarili. Dahil sa Pantawid, naging empowered ako,” he continued.

With a good compliance rate to the conditionalities of the program, Jerry happily receives his grant through his LBP cash card. He makes sure that the money will be utilized properly, prioritizing the needs of his children at school.

But when Jerry lost his cash card, his world seemed to crumble. Yet he was very hopeful that his lost cash card will be replaced. So he immediately reported it to his Municipal Link and filled out the Grievance Redress System (GRS) form to ask for replacement.
Then, the moment he had been waiting for came. Jerry wore a big smile on his face when he finally got his new cash card. From there, he promised to take extra care of it so that it will not be lost again.

Now, Jerry encourages his fellow beneficiaries to elevate their complaints and suggestions, in any of the different modes they are most comfortable with.

Before, we used to live in a society haunted with apathy wherein only those in uniform have the power. The weak, the poor, the disadvantaged sectors of the society remains vulnerable. They do not have the voice to speak out their minds. But now, it has totally changed.

Now, the weak, the poor, the disadvantaged sectors of the society are empowered to stand up for themselves. They are encouraged to communicate their sentiments and perceptions especially in the programs of the government.

Now with GRS, it’s a different story. ###By MARICEL B. ASEJO, Pantawid Information Officer II

This post was written by:

- who has written 118 posts on DSWD Field Office 2 Official Website.

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