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3rd Saturday payout for educational aid went smoothly – DSWD

DSWD educational payout
Photos show the provision of the educational assistance to qualified applicants in the different pay-out sites identified nationwide.

On the third Saturday schedule for the provision of educational assistance, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reported an orderly and safe conduct of assessment and pay-out in more than 300 implementation sites nationwide.

Assistant Secretary Romel Lopez, DSWD spokesperson, said that the educational assistance pay-out sites have significantly increased, with the Field Offices coordinating with their respective local government units (LGUs) for the identification of additional sites. Of the said total, 113 pay-out sites are in Region VII.

Overall, the provision of the educational assistance started and proceeded in an organized manner, serving 89,736 beneficiaries with the amount of assistance reaching P225,372,000.

Off-Site pay-outs

In an effort to also serve those qualified but have no access to gadgets and online registration, some Field Offices started the conduct of off-site pay-outs.

Assistant Secretary Lopez said that Field Offices Calabarzon, MIMAROPA, and VI pilot tested the conduct of off-site pay-outs.

He added that in line with the instruction of Secretary Erwin T. Tulfo, the strategy for the conduct of off-site implementation is currently being studied and an option to be provided to those who reside in geographically isolated areas and those who have no capacity to do online registrations.

However, Assistant Secretary Lopez emphasized that the no walk-in policy is currently in place to avoid chaos and ensure the safety of both the public and DSWD employees.

The spokesperson appealed to the public to help the DSWD further improve the educational assistance distribution by adhering to the schedule provided in the text confirmation. He added that there are applicants who troop to the pay-out centers even if their schedule is set for next Saturday.

He also appealed to the public to be patient in waiting for text confirmation, and give the Department at least a week to reply. Since there are two million online applicants, it would take time for the DSWD to send the replies. Furthermore, the Department sends text confirmation by batch to organize the Saturday schedule pay-out and ensure the safety of all.

Subject to assessment and availability of funds

The DSWD also emphasized that the educational assistance is still subject to the assessment of the social worker and the availability of funds. Hence, not all who applied will automatically receive assistance.

Assistant Secretary Lopez also stated that as much as DSWD would like to help all applicants, the educational assistance has limitations and is subject to the availability of funds. To date, the maximum number of applicants per region is estimated at 400,000 students.

For those qualified and in crisis but will be subjected to cut-off due to budget limitations, Assistant Secretary Lopez said they can still apply for other types of assistance under the Assistance for Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program, depending on their specific needs, such as transportation assistance, food assistance, among others.

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