Half of student aid beneficiaries were no-shows in September 17 payout 

(DSWD-6 photo)

By Jennifer P. Rendon 

More than half of the beneficiaries who were scheduled for the fifth payout of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Region 6’s student assistance were no-shows on Sept 17, 2022.

Data from DSWD-6 showed that only 2,432 clients received their Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program for student aid.

The agency disbursed P6.852 million for 839 beneficiaries in Negros Occidental; 671 in Iloilo; 446 in Antique; 308 in Capiz; 112 in Aklan; and only 56 in Guimaras.

Atty. May Rago-Castillo, DSWD-6 regional information officer, said they initially targeted 5,000 beneficiaries for the fifth Saturday payout.

“They didn’t arrive at the designated venue despite the text messages sent to them,” she said.

Castillo opined there could be several factors for their non-appearance.

“Maybe, there’s a conflict of schedule. Some might have self-assessed and realized that they are not qualified to receive the aid,” she said.

But Castillo also admitted that the earlier pronouncement that the DSWD-6 would no longer push through with the two remaining payouts affected last Saturday’s attendance.

On Sept 14, the agency announced they have decided not to push through with the two remaining payouts scheduled on September 17 and 24.

DSWD-6 cited the depletion of funds as the main reason for the payout cancellation.

But the following day, the DSWD-6 again announced that it will go on with the payout after the DSWD Central Office downloaded P26 million in additional funds.

Castillo said the team leaders sent text messages to the beneficiaries that the scheduled payout will proceed.

However, some may have thought that the message is a scam.

For the September 24 payout, Castillo said they still have P19.1 million in remaining funds, enough to cater to around 7,500 target beneficiaries.