Manila student cash aid
Mayor Honey Lacuna and department of social welfare chief Re Fugoso distribute financial assistance to 922 needy students from the six districts of Manila under the city's educational assistance program. (JERRY S. TAN)

ANOTHER batch of students numbering over 900 and who live under dire circumstances received much-needed support from the city government of Manila.

Mayor Honey Lacuna, assisted by Vice Mayor Yul Servo and Manila department of social welfare chief Re Fugoso, personally led the distribution of financial assistance to each of the students under the city’s Educational Assistance Program (EAP).

“Alam ko medyo mahirap ang buhay ngayon… alam ‘yan ng inyong pamahalaan kaya kami ay nagsisikap na maging masinop at ayusin ang pamamahala ng pondo ng lungsod, nang magkaroon tayo ng mga programang kapaki-pakinabang sa lahat, bata man o matanda,” Lacuna said in her brief message delivered in the presence of the student-recipients and their respective parents or guardians.

The lady mayor also recounted: “Isa sa mga programang gustong-gusto ko nung ako ay director ng DSW ay ang EAP. Bakit? Kasi kahit papaano, kahit na sinasabing galing sa pampublikong paaralan, meron pa rin talagang tustusin sa mga pangangailangan sa loob ng eskwelahan.”

Lacuna said that while the financial help being given by the city government is not that big, it is hoped that the amount will somehow help cover the expenses that crop up in the course of studying in public schools, although the tuition is already free.

“Hindi kalakihan pero kahit paano, me magagastos kayo para sa inyong anak kung may kinakailangan,” she added.

Lacuna took the opportunity to request the students to study well, saying their parents are doing everything possible to ensure that they get to finish their education.

On the other hand, she also appealed to the parents to put to good use the cash aid from the city government, particularly for the extra education needs of the students for whom the money is really intended.

“Pagdamutan po ninyo ang nakayanan ng inyong pamahalaan. Ito lang ang aming paraan para maibalik namin sa inyo lahat ng suporta at pagtitiwalang ibinbigay n’yo sa amin. Kung wala kayo, wala kami sa inyong harapan,” the mayor said.

It was learned from Fugoso that the recipients totalling 922 in all received P5,000 each during the awarding of the 5th EAP, held at the San Andres Sports Complex in Malate, Manila. The total amount distributed was over P4.6 million.

The 922 fortunate students came from various public schools who, as Fugoso explained, have been classified as ‘under case management’ after they sought help from the city government owing to their dire situation which makes it impossible for them to sustain the extra expenses entailed by their already free education.

Fugoso said the EAP upholds the rights of children to free education and provides financial assistance per indigent child enrolled in public elementary and high schools and also for children in need of special protection (CNSP).

The cash aid, she said, is meant to augment family expenses for school needs such as allowance, uniform, school supplies and shoes and materials for school projects.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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