No more walk-ins for DSWD’s educational assistance, says Tulfo

Published August 24, 2022, 1:49 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

DSWD Secretary Erwin Tulfo and DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr. led the signing of a memorandum of agreement on the implementation of the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS) program’s educational assistance payout at the DSWD Central Office in Quezon on August 24, 2022. (MARK BALMORES / MANILA BULLETIN)

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Erwin Tulfo advised applicants to the agency’s educational assistance program to register online to ensure a swift distribution of aid to beneficiaries, who are students-in-crisis.

Tulfo made the announcement during the ceremonial signing of the memorandum of agreement on the distribution of educational assistance between the DSWD and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday, Aug. 24.

“Ina-announce na po namin ngayon na magiging online lang talaga [ang pagpaparegister para sa educational assistance payout]. Kasi yung sinasabi na pano yung mga walang cell phone [at hindi makapag-register?]. Eh uunahin na po namin [yung mga nagpa-register online] (We are now announcing that the registration for the educational assistance payout will be done online. What about those who do not have a cell phone and cannot register? Well, we will still prioritize those who have registered online),” Tulfo said during the DSWD-DILG joint press briefing.

Registration for Educational Assistance Payout can be done through email [email protected], call/text 09317960362, or through the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis in Crisis Situations (AICS) program’s QR code.

After the registration, the applicant have to wait for the text confirmation from the DSWD staff for the schedule of processing at the payout site. They will be instructed to bring the student’s certificate of enrollment and valid school ID.

Tulfo pointed out that there is no reason not to register because almost every Filipino owns a mobile phone.

“Aside from online, pwede pong QR code, pwedeng text kung walang smartphone. Pwedeng SMS, sasagutin naman namin kaya there is no more reason na sabihin nila wala kaming cell phone. Tapos yung anak nila nag online naman last year. Eh di magpaturo po sila o yung anak nila ang magparegister. Madali naman po kaming hanapin, pumunta lang sa website ng DSWD (It can be done through QR code, it can be through text if you don’t have a smartphone. You can send an SMS, we will answer you, so there is no more reason for them to say ‘we don’t have a cell phone.’ Children had online classes last year. They can ask their children to teach them how to register or their children will be the one who will register. It’s easy to find us, just go to the DSWD website),” he said.

When asked if those who insist on conducting walk-in application will still be accommodated, Tulfo said: “No, we won’t do that.”

“Kasi kapag nag walk-in po magkakaproblema na naman tayo. Yun po ang mahigpit na instruction. This will be the difference. Kasi kapag nag walk-in po eh sasabihin pu-pwede naman. Siguro, later part na siguro. Kung talagang ayaw niyo magparehistro, hindi siya marunong, we will accommodate them. Unahin lang muna natin yung online kasi halos lahat naman po ay may cell phone na (Because if we again allow walk-ins, we will have problems again. That’s the strict instruction. This will be the difference. Because when you walk-in, you’ll be thinking again that it can be done. Maybe, we can allow that at the later part of the distribution. If you really don’t want to register, or you don’t know how, then we will accommodate you. But those who registered online will be prioritized because almost everyone has a cell phone),” Tulfo said.

Hundreds of people who flocked to the DSWD Central Office in Quezon City, as well as in some of its regional and field offices across the country, have endured long queues hoping to avail of the agency’s one-time educational cash assistance for “students-in-crisis” on Aug. 20.

The payout was scheduled for six consecutive Saturdays from Aug. 20 to Sept. 24.

DSWD, DILG ink MOA

To prevent a repeat of the reported disorderly process during the first day of the educational assistance payout on Aug. 20, Tulfo had sought the help of the DILG to ensure the smooth facilitation of cash aid distribution in the next five weeks.

Tulfo and DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr. signed a memorandum of agreement to “bring closer and facilitate the acceptance of AICS’ Educational Assistance Payout, limit exposure and close contact with many people, and ensure proper security in the areas that will be designated as payout venues.”

“Dito sa MOA, nakasaad ang role ng bawat department. Ang DSWD ang gagawa ng listahan. Ito ay online registration. Ang pera ay hindi galing kay mayor, gobernador, o kapitan. Ang pera ay manggagaling sa national government, mismo sa DSWD. Ang paymaster nila ang magdadala sa mga lugar (Here in the MOA, the role of each department is stated. The DSWD will make the list of beneficiaries. This is online registration. The money will not come from mayor, governor, or barangay captain. The money will come from the national government, from the DSWD. Their paymaster will take the money to the payout sites),” Abalos said.

The DILG, through the Philippine National Police, will provide police assistance at the payout sites to ensure safety and security.

It will also assist the concerned local government units to provide on-the-ground human resource support to the payout sites to facilitate an orderly implementation of education assistance for the beneficiaries.

Tulfo pointed out that the DILG, through the municipal and city social welfare workers, will be the one to screen the applicants’ documents.

However, he said that the applicants will be interviewed by the DSWD’s personnel from the main office to “avoid patronage.”

Tulfo said they are hoping to serve 375,000 to 400,000 students with the P1.5 billion budget for the program.

Each student may receive P1,000 for those in elementary, P2,000 for those in high school, P3,000 for those in senior high school, and P4,000 for those in college/vocational school.

 
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