ZAMBOANGA CITY— With the upcoming national and local elections on 9 May it is important to regulate and establish guidelines to ensure a safe and honest elections for the beneficiaries of the programs and services of the DSWD. A tripartite Memorandum of Agreement between Region 9’s DSWD, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Commission of Elections (COMELEC) was forged last 20 April at LM Metro Hotel.


DSWD Nueve RD Atty. Sittie Raifah M. Pamaloy-Hassan said that the MOA signing will “strengthen our defense in safeguarding our program, our beneficiaries, and our workers from possible exploitation from individuals and parties seeking elective positions”.

DILG IX and its RD Paisal Abutazil expressed their support in ensuring that the Bawal Ang Epal Dito Campaign will take place wherein it “aims to protect government social programs from politicide, wherein all aspects of life seem to be influenced by politics”. The campaign will create a safe space to those who feel vulnerable to these influences. Guaranteeing that Filipinos can be at ease that they are protected by the campaign and the guidelines of the MOA.

Newly installed COMELEC IX RD Atty. Monalisa Mamukid recognizes and commends all initiatives and efforts, that the forging of the joint memorandum “is another milestone towards achieving a safe and honest national and local election in May 2022”. Programs and services of DSWD have taken their own precautionary measures in ensuring that the services provided has no relation to the May elections. Among those measures are a series of 1-minute videos from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program addressing different frequently asked questions by beneficiaries such as being removed from the program if they did not vote for a certain politician.

The national Memorandum of Agreement between DSWD, DILG, and COMELEC took place last 24 March. DSWD Secretary Rolando Baustista firm message in “safeguarding our programs as well as our program- beneficiaries from being unknowingly or knowingly used in campaigns or to advance political agenda is our inherent responsibility.”

There to witness the momentous event were DSWD ARDA Riduan Hadjimuddin and ARDO Fatima Caminan, Elections Officer for District I Atty. Stephen Roy Canete, and DILG LGOO Louie Lyndon Romero, as well as media partners who were given the opportunity to seek clarification regarding the upcoming elections and how it affects the delivery of the agency’s services.