Philippine Daily Inquirer

DSWD RUNS OUT OF FUNDS FOR ED­U­CA­TIONAL AS­SIS­TANCE

- MELVIN GAS­CON

The De­part­ment of So­cial Wel­fare and De­vel­op­ment (DSWD) has an­nounced it is halt­ing its ed­u­ca­tional as­sis­tance pro­gram, ad­mit­ting it has run out of funds fol­low­ing a del­uge of re­quests from claimants.

In a state­ment, act­ing So­cial Wel­fare Sec­re­tary Vir­ginia Orogo urged pend­ing claimants to re­quest aid in­stead from their re­spec­tive town or city gov­ern­ments.

“We sin­cerely apol­o­gize to our clients seek­ing ed­u­ca­tional as­sis­tance be­cause we can no longer ac­com­mo­date their re­quests. The bud­get of the (DSWD) cen­tral of­fice for the pro­gram has al­ready been de­pleted and we need to re­quest for ad­di­tional bud­get to fi­nance the pro­gram,” she said.

The As­sis­tance to In­di­vid­u­als in Cri­sis Sit­u­a­tion (AICS) is the agency’s grant for ed­uca- tional aid to in­di­gent fam­i­lies.

An­nual aid

Un­der the pro­gram, the gov­ern­ment gives P1,000 as an­nual aid for each qual­i­fied ele­men­tary pupil, P1,500 for high school chil­dren, and P3,000 for col­lege stu­dents.

The DSWD de­cided to stop giving AICS af­ter thou­sands of claimants, some with chil­dren in tow, trooped to its cen­tral of- fice in Barangay Batasan in Que­zon City.

Orogo ex­pressed con­cern over the health risks faced by the claimants, who braved the heat as they waited in long lines.

“Some clients also bring their small chil­dren be­cause they have no rel­a­tive who can watch over their kids at home. It is very un­safe and we can­not guar­an­tee their se­cu­rity at all times,” she said.—

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