To speed up the process of collecting beneficiaries’ data and releasing the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) subsidies to qualified beneficiaries in the National Capital Region (NCR), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) launched the ReliefAgad mobile application on May 14, 2020.
Developed by the Developers Connect Philippines Community of Technology Partners (DEVCON-DCTx), ReliefAgad is a quick relief system that would enable the DSWD to expedite capturing social amelioration card (SAC) details, and interface with any electronic payment systems. ReliefAgad will have an initial pilot run in the National Capital Region before full deployment nationwide.
Developers Connect Philippines (DEVCON) is a non-profit organization which aims to promote the Filipino IT talent by providing a unique venue for IT students, educators, professionals, and enthusiasts to sync, support, and succeed. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, DEVCON convened DEVCON Community of Technology Partners (DCTX), a community of over 1,000 Filipino software developer-volunteers around the world, to come up with technology solutions. They developed the RapidPass system which provided authorized individuals to pass through checkpoints using a QR code. The same organizations developed ReliefAgad.
The ReliefAgad launch comes as 5 million more low-income families are set to be added to beneficiaries who will receive SAP cash aid. Such solutions will expedite the processes involved in delivering aid to these beneficiaries.
Undersecretary Danilo Pamonag noted during the DSWD virtual press conference for the launch of the ReliefAgad app held on May 14, 2020 said that “Based on feedback gathered from the implementation of the SAP first tranche, we are streamlining our processes to allow local government units to gather beneficiary data and distribute assistance more efficiently. The introduction of the ReliefAgad system will improve the gathering of beneficiary data by taking advantage of mobile phone technology. We also thank our partners, DICT, USAID and DEVCON, for helping us in this critical task of providing emergency assistance to our fellow countrymen during this crisis.”
“ReliefAgad will enable the DSWD to expedite capturing SAC details and provide data that they can use to disburse cash assistance quickly through electronic payment systems. We designed this app with the goal of quickly deploying it in emergency situations. ReliefAgad will cater to the needs of both implementing government agencies, and the beneficiaries. By combining crowdsourcing and manual encoding of local government units, and leveraging on a tech savvy population, the government will be able to give relief immediately,” DEVCON Founder and Talino Venture Labs Chief Executive Officer Winston Damarillo said during the same virtual press conference.
SAP is the Philippine government’s emergency subsidy program for those affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). Target beneficiaries of the SAP are low-income families or those on subsistence economy or workers in the informal economy, and with members belonging to the vulnerable sector, assessed to be the most affected by the declaration given their existing life situations or circumstances. DSWD partnered with LGUs to identify the target beneficiaries and in the distribution of the SAP funds.
United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its E-PESO project (USAID/E-PESO), is supporting the deployment of ReliefAgad through a 24/7 technical support system and development of digital user guide and instructional materials. USAID/E PESO will also be providing technical assistance on the disbursements of SAP subsidies via mobile phones.
The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is providing the secure and robust infrastructure for the operation of ReliefAgad.
USAID/E-PESO is providing technical assistance on the use of e-payments for the disbursement of the subsidies to the SAP beneficiaries and is supporting the deployment of ReliefAgad through customer and technical support system and development of digital user guide and instructional materials.
Aside from developing ReliefAgad, DEVCON has previously developed RapidPass in partnership with the DICT and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in support of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases. ReliefAgad is also supported by the private sector. PLDT Group, through its subsidiary Smart Communications, whitelisted the web application allowing Smart, TNT and Sun subscribers to access the ReliefAgad free of data charge. Amazon Web Services also donated cloud services to host the ReliefAgad system.
ReliefAgad can be accessed via their website reliefagad.ph