MANILA (DWDD) – To clarify issues about the educational assistance program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo held a dialogue with some of the barangay captains in Quezon City. The meeting was also intended as a venue wherein barangay captains were informed about DSWD services and how their respective units could work with DSWD to provide their respective constituencies with the social welfare services they need.
Through the help of QC Mayor Herbert Bautista, DSWD initiated the dialogue in response to the surge of indigent residents from QC rushing to avail of the Department’s educational assistance. Residents said that they received information that the assistance will soon stop which made them immediately troop to the Central Office in droves hoping to avail of the program. DSWD has clarified that the assistance will not end.
Barangay officials from Barangays Commonwealth, Pasong Tamo, Payatas, Bagong Silangan, Tandang Sora, and Bagbag attended the dialogue.
“Since last week, the requests of an average of 2,000 indigents wanting to avail of the educational assistance are being processed daily. This means that the DSWD staff and those lining up to avail of the assistance had to stay as late as 2:00am,” Sec. Taguiwalo said.
Sec. Taguiwalo explained that the educational assistance is part of the Department’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) which can be availed of by indigent families. However, it is just an additional help and the focal agencies for the education sector are still the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
The Secretary added that as much as the DSWD wants to serve all the Filipinos seeking assistance, the long working hours which last until the next morning have taken a toll on the social workers.
“Umuuwi ang mga social workers ng madaling araw, at kailangan pa nila pumasok ulit kinabukasan kaya marami ang talagang nagkakasakit (The social workers are processing papers until the wee hours, yet, they have to report to office early, that is why many of them are getting sick),” Sec. Taguiwalo lamented.
She also advised clients not to bring small children and to avoid lining up as early as 4am as it is not safe.
Among the issues clarified by the Secretary during the dialogue are the following:
- The current educational assistance being processed for the month of July covers only elementary and high school students
- Only one student per family is entitled to receive the assistance
- Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries are no longer allowed to avail of the assistance as their cash grants include an education component.
- Due to the thousands of clients who want to avail of the assistance, the DSWD is now scheduling the processing of the educational assistance. Upon arrival at DSWD, clients will be provided with a stub on which their schedule for request processing in written. They will need to return on the date with the complete requirements.
It was also clarified during the dialogue that the certificate of indigency issued by the barangay is free of charge. The barangays committed to temporarily stop the issuance of the certificate for the educational assistance for the month of July and will resume in August.
Sec. Taguiwalo also requested the barangay officials to assist the Department in explaining that asking for a commission or share from the assistance is illegal.
“I-report agad sa DSWD guards o sa awtoridad ang makikita o mahuhuling nanghihingi ng komisyon o bayad (Immediately report to our DSWD guards or to authorities anyone who will be seen or caught asking for a commission or share from the assistance),” the Secretary ended. SMS DSWD / MCAG