Around 400,000 students to benefit from DSWD educational cash aid

Jervis Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 24 2022 09:58 PM

Thousands of people rush to the Department of Social Welfare and Development headquarters in Quezon City on August 20, 2022 to avail of the educational assistance being offered ahead of the first day of classes. Only those registered online have been permitted to claim their assistance forcing some to register and get their online DSWD QR registration forms outside the DSWD office. Jire Carreon, ABS-CBN News
Thousands of people rush to the Department of Social Welfare and Development headquarters in Quezon City on August 20, 2022 to avail of the educational assistance being offered ahead of the first day of classes. Only those registered online have been permitted to claim their assistance forcing some to register and get their online DSWD QR registration forms outside the DSWD office. Jire Carreon, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Around 375,000 to 400,000 students in the country will benefit from the educational cash aid from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Sec. Erwin Tulfo said Wednesday.

The assistance, which will be given to poor students from elementary up to college level, will be distributed every Saturday until Sept. 24. It started Aug. 20.

To ensure order in the distribution, Tulfo signed a memorandum of agreement with Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos.

The agreement delineated roles of the two agencies as they collaborate to avoid a repeat of the chaos during the Aug. 20 distribution.

According to the agreement, the DSWD will be responsible to "generate the list of eligible beneficiaries of the educational assistance as stipulated in the guidelines covering assistance", while the Department of the Interior and Local Government will provide manpower.

Under the new scheme, applicants will have to apply through a website to be posted by their respective local government units.

The DSWD will then assess the applicants as to who among them deserve to receive the assistance.

The move prevents local officials from politicizing the assistance program, as instances in the past reportedly found some low ranking LGU officials prioritizing their relatives and friends.

"Ang DSWD, s'ya ang gagawa ng listahan, lahat ng ililista, lahat ng benepisyaryo. Hindi si gobernador, hindi si mayor, hindi si kapitan. Linawin natin yan. Ang perang manggagaling, hindi kay mayor o gobernador, o kapitan. Ang pera, galing sa national government, sa ahensya mismo," DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos said.

Once an applicant receives a QR code or a confirmation text message, he or she can then proceed to the payout center.

The beneficiary needs to bring a certificate of enrollment and a valid ID.

Payout centers are spread out in various cities and municipalities. Some LGUs may have more than one payout center, depending on the population and number of recipients.

The DILG clarifies this will not be done at the barangay level.

"Siguro, hindi na lahat ng munisipyo. Kung magkakadikit-dikit sila, yung pinaka-malaking munisipyo, yung nasa gitna siguro para puwedeng mag-tricycle na lang ang estudyante papunta doon at 'di na magko-commute nang malayo," Tulfo said.

Tulfo also explained why they did not distribute in schools, as suggested by many parents.

"Baka kainin ang oras ng teacher o ni principal sa pamamahagi ng pera. Baka maulit na naman na may pinaburan si teacher dahil pinsan niya ‘yung estudyante niya. Eh alam niyo naman po ‘yung mga teacher natin, do’n lang nakatira sa paligid-ligid. Baka na naman ma-accuse na naman ho ang mga teacher. Kawawa naman," the DSWD chief said.

Beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and government scholars are not eligible for cash aid.

Up to P1.5 billion had been allotted for the program. Tulfo had said that more than P141 million have been given out to some 48,000 indigent students all over the country during the Aug. 20 distribution.

Under the program, elementary students will receive P1,000; high school students, P2,000; senior high school students, P3,000; and vocational and college students, P4,000. Up to three members in a family may receive the aid.

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