By Jennifer P. Rendon
The number of online applications from students who want to avail of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)’s educational assistance in Western Visayas has ballooned to 591,744.
This is one of the main reasons why DSWD in Region 6 temporarily stopped accepting online registrations effective Sept 7, 2022.
Atty. May Rago-Castillo, DSWD-6 public information officer, said the move was intended to give way to the processing of previous registrations.
When asked if they were expecting the big volume of applicants, Castillo cited the big population of enrolled students.
“And everyone perhaps is thinking that it’s for everyone. Again, the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) Educational Assistance is intended for students in crisis only,” she said.
While they understand that a number of enrolled students want to avail of the assistance, she said that the agency has limited funds intended for students in crisis only.
Castillo acknowledged that they have received several queries about clients who have not received confirmation of their scheduled assessment.
DSWD-6 has crossmatched only 43,820, or 7.40 percent, of the 591,744 applications.
Castillo said 547,924 applications are still up for crossmatching.
Of the 43,820 cross-matched applications, 12,065 were served while 6,936 were not eligible as they belonged to 4Ps households.
As earlier announced, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps beneficiaries are not eligible for the program.
The 24,819 applicants are up for payout subject to the availability of funds.
There are only three payout activities left for this assistance – on Sept 10, 17, and 24.
Castillo said the remaining nearly P15 million might be exhausted in the next payout.
“But we have already elevated the matter to the DSWD Central Office for funding,” she said.
Up to three students per family can receive cash aid under the agency’s AICS program.
A P1,000 cash aid will be given for elementary students, P2,000 for high school, P3,000 for senior high school, and P4,000 for a tertiary student enrolled in a college or technical-vocational school.
On the third payout last September 3, DSWD-6 released P32.67 million of cash aid to 11,248 students.
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 totaled P22,786,000.