MANILA — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Tuesday said the budget for its 6-week educational assistance program has been tripled from P500 million to P1.5 billion.
DSWD spokesperson Asst. Sec. Romel Lopez said the augmented funds come from various sources.
"Ito'y augmentation mula sa pondo ng DSWD at sa tulong ng ilan nating mambabatas kasi nakita nila na ang daming umaasa sa tulong ng DSWD para sa pagpapa-aral ng kanilang mga anak," Lopez said.
The department also noted that beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) who received the educational cash aid will have deductions in their monthly 4Ps payout.
But an organization of 4Ps beneficiaries questioned this, as most of them who lined up are also sending kids to college. Tertiary students are not covered by the said conditional cash transfer program.
"Wala ang college, only elementary at HS hanggang senior high school lang ang covered ng 4Ps, kaya kung ipapabalik pero para sa college student ang kumuha, bakit po ipapabalik?," said Analiza Natalio of the Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Pamilya ng Pantawid.
The guidelines are expected to be released this week.
NEW SYSTEM IN PLACE
Meanwhile, the DSWD said a new system in distributing its educational cash aid will be in place starting this week, following the mayhem that marred the first payout.
DSWD Secretary Erwin Tulfo said he has met with Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. to implement a better distribution scheme.
Tulfo said that arranging applicants' surnames alphabetically is among the options being considered for a smoother payout flow.
"Kunwari itong darating na Sabado, yung mga apelyido na starting with letter A hanggang letter J, sabi niyang ganon. Next Saturday naman, letter K hanggang P or Q. Ganoon ang mangyayari para maayos po," Tulfo said.
The process will also shift online to avoid long lines.