GRIEVANCE REDRESS SYSTEM
The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program faces many implementation challenges considering the continuous expansion of the Pantawid Pamilya coverage and number of households. The number of beneficiaries and the needed coordination and transactions to facilitate overall implementation such as payments of validation of household data, payment of cash grants, updates and verification of compliance is very large. Thus, it is inevitable that queries, clarifications and problems will arise. Program rules and policies and regulations may not be adequate or correctly implemented, hence systematic, professional, rules-based procedures for handling grievances and appeals are essential to minimize and manage risks to ensure that the program achieves its goals and meets the need of the poor.
The Pantawid Pamilya Grievance Redress System (GRS) aims to capture and resolve grievances effectively and expeditiously in a transparent manner. It is intended to provide a venue for beneficiaries and the public at large to air their concerns, complaints and suggestions to improve the program. Their queries and complaints will be responded appropriately. The GRS also serves as a guide, for implementers and partners who are directly involved in the implementation of Pantawid Pamilya, on how to handle and resolve grievances that inevitably emerges.
Principles of the Pantawid Pamilya Grievance System
The Grievance Redress System (GRS) is anchored on the following principles:
• Simplicity and accessibility – procedures to file complaints and seek redress will be simple and easy to understand, and grievances may be submitted through a range of means by the beneficiaries and the community in general
• Transparency – the system will be publicized to a broad audience at all levels (from barangay to national level) and to a variety of different actors (beneficiaries, general public, CSOs, media, government officials).
• Empowering and participatory – communities, project implementers and the media are encouraged bring complaints to the attention of project management and the public
• Timeliness –Minimum response times are included in these guidelines to ensure grievances are handled in a timely manner.
• Right of appeal – channels for appeal will be available if complainants are not satisfied with the resolution of their problem.
• Confidentiality – the identity of complainants will remain confidential unless otherwise requested
• Pro-community – the purpose of the GRS is to resolve community complaints to maximize access to the benefits of the Pantawid Pamilya.
Objectives of the Grievance Redress System
The primary objective of the GRS is to facilitate due process in resolving complaints and grievances related to program implementation.
The GRS aims to achieve the following specific objectives:
• Provide rapid and due process in resolving complaints
• Capture data on vulnerabilities in the project implementation to effect refinements and improvements
• Empower communities and civil society to oversee and ensure accountability in program implementation.
The functions of the GRS are to:
1. Provide information to beneficiaries and the general public on the existence of the GRS and the various channels of complaint.
2. Rapidly resolve grievances through:
a. Grievance redress processes at the provincial, regional and national levels based on the kinds of complaints
b. Referral of grievances to Pantawid Pamilya committees at the provincial , regional and national levels in line with the level of the complaint;
c. Resolution of complaints, including through investigation and verification of complaints as they are received
d. Coordination with the legal authorities in the case of a violation of the law (e.g. corruption)
e. Compilation of data on the volume and status of grievances through a Management Information System (MIS) that will equip Pantawid Pamilya management to identify, understand and address vulnerabilities in program implementation.
3. Prepare materials for dissemination to the public on the grievance redress system, steps for resolution and corrective actions to be taken.
4. Establish an appeals system if initial resolution attempts are not satisfactory.
Types of Grievance and Complaints
Table 1: Types Grievance
|Complaint or protest from an individuals or households excluded from the beneficiary list who feels they should be included in the program.|
|Inclusion Error||Complaint about an individual registered as a beneficiary who is considered by the complainant to ineligible to receive Pantawid Pamilya cash payments.|
|Registration||Complaint from potential beneficiaries not able to attend the initial community validation/assemblies|
Payment amount lower/higher than entitlement
Payment cut off inappropriately
Problems with ATM cards or alternative payment systems
|Health Service Provision||Health clinic closed|
Doctor/nurse/midwife not present
Logistics (drugs/medical equipment) not available
|Education Service Provision||School closed|
Classrooms and teaching facilities inadequate
|Compliance||Complaint from beneficiary wishing to appeal against sanction for non-compliance|
|External pressure||Pressure applied on beneficiaries through the imposition of additional conditions or coercion/obligatory participation in any special projects in the community|
|Collection of fees/extortion by local officials, project staff or concerned service providers|
Corruption in project contracts
Other related issues
|Political Abuse of Power||Pressure applied on communities through the imposition of additional conditions or coercion to work on government projects|
|Complaint about suspension or termination due to non-compliance|| Complaint from beneficiary wishing to appeal against sanction for non-compliance |
Filing of Grievances and Complaints
An individual or a group, beneficiaries or non-beneficiaries, may file a grievance or complaint, comment, query to the Municipal Link or designated Grievance Officer, and may be channeled through direct or indirect means. Direct means would refer to filing complaints through the parent leaders and Municipal Links.
STEPS IN THE FILING OF GRIEVANCES AND COMPLAINTS
The grievance handling procedure entails five main stages, as described below:
STEP 1: Submission/Receipt of a Grievance
A grievance may be filed either orally or in writing or directly or indirectly submitted by the complainant as follows:
Direct Submission of Grievance
Direct submission of grievances can be done through the following means:
1. Reporting to:
- Parent Leader during a Barangay Assembly or at any other time
- Municipal Link
- Pantawid Pamilya officials at the Municipal or Regional level
- Direct to independent NGO monitoring teams
- Via text message to Pantawid Pamilya text hotline 0918-9122813
- Email at
- Fax to Pantawid Pamilya regional/national hotline
- Complaints boxes
Indirect Receipt of Grievance
Grievances can also be captured indirectly through a range of means, including:
- Monitoring reports on visits to program sites by program staff, independent monitors, NGOs, supervision teams, media, government officials or any interested persons
- Media, including newspapers, television, radio and websites
- Audit reports from internal and external auditors
- Through elected representatives at local legislative assemblies
STEP 2: Recording of Grievance/Entry into MIS
Following receipt of a complaint through direct or indirect means, the following steps should be taken.
a. Fill out Grievance Form
Each grievance should be entered into the Grievance Form. Information that needs to be recorded includes:
- Means of reporting complaint (letter, email, sms, etc)
- Date grievance was sent and received
- Identity of the complainant, if provided (name, address, contact details)
- Nature of the complaint
Helping complainants who cannot write
It is quite likely that some people with grievances about the program will lack the literacy skills necessary to fill out the complaints form. In this case, the complainant may seek assistance from friends, neighbors, the Parent Leader or the Municipal Link.
The Form will be filled out by the Municipal Link if it is not done at the community level. If the grievance is received via email, letter, text message at the Grievance Text Hotline 09189122813, the officer who receives the complaint shall fill out a Grievance Form.
A simple query or request for information about the program does not need to be captured in the Grievance Form or entered into the MIS.
b. Entry into MIS/Assignment of Tracking Number
All complaints shall be entered into the MIS through the Pantawid Pamilya Grievance Database. The MIS will automatically assign a tracking number to each grievance.
Municipalities that have online access to the database can process the complaints directly on the system (off-line database option for others). For the off-line version they process and send to the Region in an electronic file. The Regional Grievance Focal person shall then enter the grievance into the MIS.
c. Categorization and Distribution
Once recorded, the PMO Grievance Redress Unit will review and categorize each grievance and distribute it to the appropriate level, based on:
i. level at which the complaint was submitted (national, regional, municipal, barangay)
ii. the nature of the complaint – inclusion error, payment, service provider, corruption, etc
STEP 3: Fact-finding
Once categorized, the next stage is distribution of the grievance for fact-finding and resolution. This activity includes gathering facts and clarifying information in order to have a clear picture of the circumstances surrounding the grievance. The Municipal/City Link shall be responsible for this in most cases, unless the complaint is at a higher level or is about the Municipal/City Link. In these cases either the Regional Focal Person or the National Monitor shall conduct the fact-finding.
Table 2: Level and body responsible for fact-finding
DSWD Central Office
Grievance Redress Unit
DSWD Regional Office
Regional Focal Person
i. The fact-finding process shall verify the following information Identity of the complainant and nature of complaint
ii. Status of the complaint – already resolved, in process of resolution, still in process, etc
iii. Compile supporting evidence
Once completed, the body undertaking the fact-finding shall make recommendations for resolution to the appropriate bodies for consideration in the redress of grievance or complaints.
STEP 4: Resolution & Appeal
This step is the action and decision-making process undertaken at different levels. Generally, the action will be one of the following, depending on the nature and type of complaint:
Table 3: Grievance and summary of resolution strategies
Complainant not surveyed: no re-survey will be conducted, so in this case the response is to explain the selection process. The complainant can be referred to the City/Municipal SWDO for provision of other available social services, if any.
Complainant surveyed: if the complainant has been surveyed, then the Pantawid Pamilya database and the survey questionnaire should be verified. If there is a data error, verify household information and amend the database to include the complainant if necessary. If there is no data error, simply explain the selection process to the complainant and take no further action.
Verify data on the questionnaire and the database. If there appears to be an error, redo the PMT survey. If no error, no action required. If the household is ineligible, removal from the beneficiary list
Payment error originates with the MIS payroll and usually relates to errors in ages of children and/or disputes over compliance with conditions. Such complaints should be referred to the PMO for data verification.
Health: Refer to Municipal Advisory Committee
Education: refer to Regional Advisory Committee
Refer to the National Grievance Redress Unit or Regional Grievance Committee to appropriate action and to legal or appropriate agency for further investigations if warranted and appropriate action
Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries suspended or terminated from the program may appeal to the Grievance Committee. The Committee shall investigate the case and decide whether conditions beyond the control of the beneficiary explained non-compliance (e.g.: service provider error in filling out compliance form, school was closed, etc).
If a complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of the grievance resolution, he/she may appeal the outcome up as far as the National Grievance Committee, the decision of which is final.
STEP 5: Feedback
Once a grievance has been resolved, the complainant shall be informed of the outcome of his/her complaint. If the complainant is anonymous, information on resolution of the complaint shall be posted in the relevant Municipal and barangay bulletin boards and on the Pantawid Pamilya complaints database.
Following resolution, the Grievance Database shall be updated to reflect the new status.
GRIEVANCE REDRESS STRUCTURE
The Grievance Redress Unit will be established in the Pantawid Pamilya Project Management Office (PMO) at the national level comprising of two full-time staff, the function of the unit is to record and facilitate the resolution of grievances It will also maintain the grievance database as part of the program MIS.
The unit will facilitate resolution of grievances at all levels particularly the Provincial Grievance Committee. Unresolved complaints raised by the Provincial Grievance Committee shall serve as agenda item in the Regional Advisory Committee, and grievances forwarded by the region to national level shall be agenda item in the National Advisory Committee.
Levels of Grievance Handling
a. Parent Leaders
Parent Leaders act as a conduit of information between beneficiaries and Pantawid Pamilya management. They play an important role in capturing grievances and facilitating grievance redress.
Parent Leaders has the responsibility to be aware of problems of beneficiaries in their cluster. At each Barangay assembly, problems and grievances should be reported and discussed. If a grievance cannot be resolved at this level, it should be reported to the Municipal Link.
If the grievance is about the Municipal Link, then it can be reported directly to the Regional or National Pantawid Pamilya Office through any of the channels such as hotline, email, letter or text message.
b. Municipal Link
The Municipal Link serves as the Grievance Monitor and is the frontline worker in the Grievance Redress System. As the Grievance Monitor, she/he will work in close cooperation with Parent Leaders in target barangays as well as keeping track of filed grievances and feeding back information to complainants on how their complaint has been addressed.
c. Service Providers
Service providers have a role in ensuring the delivery of education and health services to Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries. Schools and health clinics in the project target areas will be visited at least once a month by the Municipal Link. This is an opportunity for service providers to convey any complaints, both in terms of their ability to deliver health and education services and input on the mechanism and procedures of the Pantawid Pamilya.
d. National Grievance Redress Unit – Pantawid Pamilya PMO
The National Grievance Redress Unit shall be housed within the Pantawid Pamilya PMO at the DSWD National Office, and shall be led by a Grievance Redress Specialist. The Grievance Redress Unit shall comprise 2 full time staff dedicated to overseeing and managing the GRS and handling serious complaints at the national level, together with the National Grievance Committee.
The main functions of the Grievance Redress Unit are to:
a. Monitor and supervise complaints handling, including through regular coordination with the Regional Grievance Monitor and the Municipal Link.
b. Coordinate and help facilitate monthly meetings of the National Grievance Committee.
c. Investigate and help to resolve serious complaints that are referred to the national level for resolution
d. Categorize and distribute complaints to the appropriate level for resolution.
e. Prepare a monthly grievance report for submission to the National Grievance Committee, drawing on monthly reports from the Regional Level and from the MIS. The report shall include information on the volume, type and location of grievances received and the status of resolution. It will particularly highlight serious or high profile cases requiring additional attention, including cases of corruption, complaints against government officials or widespread fraud or manipulation.
f. Analyze trends in grievance reporting and identify strategies to address major problems
g. Build the capacity of Regional and Municipal Grievance Monitors to record and resolve grievances
h. Ensure the Grievance MIS database is maintained
i. Together with regional and municipal counterparts, review these guidelines for annual revision and improvement.
e. The Provincial Grievance Committee
Time Limits for Complaints Resolution
The table below lays out the timeline for the resolutions of complaints and grievances:
Table 5: Estimated maximum timelines for complaint resolution
Grievance Handling Phase
Accumulated working days
Receipt of Grievance, Clarification, Entry into MIS, Categorization and Distribution
Feedback to complainant
Grievances shall be captured for monitoring and reporting using one of the Grievance Forms (Beneficiaries & Non-Beneficiaries – Forms 1 & 2).
Consolidated reports shall be generated and updated at all levels. Submission to the PMO of the consolidated regional grievance reports shall be simultaneous with monthly M& reports. The consolidated reports shall include information on (i) identity of the complainant; (ii) actions taken; and (iii) actions required (if any) to resolve the grievance.
The Municipal Link shall provide reports on all grievances each month to the Regional Office.
The Regional Focal Point shall update the MIS complaints database on a monthly basis. The Regional Focal Point shall in turn provide a consolidated report to the PMO, which reports finally to the Pantawid Pamilya National Advisory Committee. This report shall highlight any cases requiring direct attention from the national level.
The Pantawid Pamilya Grievance Redress System shall be open to the public, and it is the responsibility of the Grievance Redress Unit, supported by the Pantawid Pamilya Social Marketing Unit and the DSWD Social Marketing Service (SMS) to disseminate information about how the Grievance Redress System be accessed and utilized (See attached Guidelines on GRS for complete details).