Want to raise funds? Seek DSWD nod

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ILOILO City – Solicitations or fundraising activities need the approval of either the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) or local government units concerned.

“There are laws to be followed for these to promote transparency and accountability,” said DSWD Region 6 director Ma. Evelyn Macapobre.

DSWD-6 recently got wind of an alleged fundraising campaign identifying it as beneficiary.

According to Macapobre, Presidential Decree (PD) 1564 (Solicitation Permit Law) identifies DSWD as having exclusive authority to regulate the soliciting of donations or receiving of contributions for charitable or public welfare purposes.

On the other hand, she said, Republic Act 7160 (Local Government Code of 1991) gives the city and municipal mayors authority to regulate the holding of activities for charitable and welfare purposes within their respective jurisdictions. Such activities may be in the form of benefit shows or dances, bingo socials for charity, raffle draws and similar activities.

“Those covering two or more cities and municipalities should first secure a permit from the DSWD regional office. Those which are conducted within a specific town or city will have to secure a permit from the municipal or city mayor,” said Macapobre.

Meanwhile, DSWD Memorandum Circular 17 Series of 2014 (Revised Omnibus Rules and Regulations on Public Solicitation) provides that “No individual, group, or organization shall be allowed to publicize or identify him/her/itself as the beneficiary of a fundraising project using the name of another individual, group, organization or institution unless a notarized written agreement signifying the intended beneficiaries’ concurrence as recipient of the fundraising activity has been issued.”

Pursuant to Memorandum Circular 17, organizers of solicitation and fundraising campaign have to use only 20 percent of the proceeds for administrative expenses.

“In partnerships, the rules provide that the organizations have to adhere to the standard financial ratio in utilization of funds. Eighty percent will have to be spent for the program component,” said Macapobre.

There are, however, exemptions. Caroling during the Christmas season, as well as other forms of solicitations intended for religious purposes do not require a DSWD permit.

Still, LGUs have the right to issue ordinances regarding the conduct of caroling and other solicitation drives, said Macapobre. (DSWD-6/PN)

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