Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary (DSWD) Erwin T. Tulfo reminded the public to be vigilant and not to entertain individuals introducing themselves as officials or staff of the Department, who will then promise assistance in exchange for registration fees to the programs of the agency.
In his press briefing on Wednesday, July 20, Secretary Tulfo emphasized that the DSWD is not collecting any fees and all its programs and services are free to the public, especially to the poor and vulnerable Filipinos.
The secretary’s pronouncement came after DSWD Field Office X Regional Director Mari-Flor Dollanga, together with the Cagayan de Oro Police Station presented to Secretary Tulfo an arrested scammer who was using the name of the DSWD in his modus operandi.
According to Director Dollanga, the arrested personality introduced himself as an official of the DSWD, and was collecting P350 to P500 per person fee, in exchange for a promise that his victims would be included in the list of beneficiaries of educational assistance and the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) of the Department.
Upon verification with the agency, the DSWD has confirmed that the alleged scammer is not connected, in any way, and is not an employee of the Department.
The alleged scammer was arrested during a joint entrapment operation with the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday, July 18.
During the interrogation, he confessed that there are five more suspected scammers roaming around Cagayan de Oro doing the same.
Secretary Tulfo appealed to the public to be more careful and not to give any information to any individual promising assistance and asking for money in return. He urged those who know of any similar incident to report it to the nearest DSWD Field Office.
The Department also clarified that there are necessary processes and criteria to be met as well as forms to be accomplished to be included in its programs and services. ###