DSWD halts educational dole outs for lack of funds

DSWD-6 employees conduct assessment and payout of the educational assistance to beneficiaries at Brgy. Zamora-Melliza, City Proper in Iloilo City on Sept 10, 2022. (Photo by Mark Gehro Coloso via DSWD-6 FB page)

By Jennifer P. Rendon and Francis Allan L. Angelo

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Erwin Tulfo said Saturday that they have closed online applications for the agency’s educational assistance program for indigent students as it can no longer accommodate any more registrants.

Over two million have signed up for the program, but Tulfo told dzBB that they could not add any more beneficiaries due to a lack of funds.

“We can’t possibly add more to the two million,” he said.

Those who were not able to register online may still be able to receive aid from district lawmakers, Tulfo said, as the DSWD and the House of Representatives leadership are partnering for this program.

Tulfo said P1.5 billion is allotted for the program and that around P600 million to P800 million have been released.

Meanwhile, more than 8,000 individuals were added to the number of educational aid beneficiaries in Region 6.

Atty. May Rago Castillo, DSWD-6 regional information officer, said 8,851 students received their cash aid under the agency’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program during the fourth payout on Sept 10.

The number is slightly lower than the 9,734 target beneficiaries.

Castillo said almost half of the beneficiaries are college students at 3,973. They each received P4,000 cash.

Also, 2,034 elementary got P1,000 each; 1,693 junior high school who received P2,000; while 1,151 senior high school students for their P3,000 each.

Castillo said the agency was able to disburse P24,765,000 for the Saturday payout.

For the first payout on August 20, DSWD-6 said they were able to serve 5,260 clients from all over the region. The amount disbursed was P21,376,000.

The following week, the total amount disbursed reached P22,786,000.

On the third payout, 11,248 students received their aid under the agency’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program. The agency disbursed P32.67 million.