The Department of Education (DepEd) should accelerate the release and distribution of financial aid allotted by the extended Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2 to qualified basic education students who are facing financial difficulties because of the pandemic.
Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts, and Culture, made the call following the recent release of the P5,000 grant to 54,761 private school students in higher education who have unpaid tuition and miscellaneous fees.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED), which had a P300-million allocation, distributed the grant under the Bayanihan 2 for Higher Education Tulong Program (B2HELP).
Bayanihan 2 provides for subsidies and allowances to qualified students in private and public elementary, secondary, and tertiary education whose families are facing financial difficulties following the imposition of quarantine measures and the resulting economic downturn.
“Maraming mga mag-aaral ang matagal nang naghihintay ng tulong pinansyal upang maibsan ang kanilang pangamba pagdating sa mga pangangailangan sa edukasyon (Many of our students have been waiting for this for some time so they can address their worries in terms of their education needs),” Gatchalian said.
“Dapat nating bigyan ng prayoridad ang mabilis na pagpapamahagi ng ayudang ito upang maiparating na natin ang tulong na matagal na nilang hinihintay (we need to prioritize the distribution of these cash aid fast),” he said.
Students qualified to receive the cash assistance include those who are not covered by the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Listahanan, the Education Service Contracting (ESC) Program, the Senior High School Voucher Program (SHS VP), and the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES).
Under Bayanihan 2, these subsidies shall be used for unpaid tuition for the school year (SY) 2019-2020 or for the payment of tuition fee for SY 2020-2021.