The educational assistance for students in crisis ended on Saturday, Sept. 24 but a “possible” extension is yet to be discussed and announced, according to Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) spokesperson Assistant Secretary Romel Lopez.
This extension depends if there will be any excess funds from the remaining P121 million to be dispersed to 116,583 student-beneficiaries on the final day of payout.
“Talagang kung may makikita pa ano at kung may magagamit pa kaming pondong maise-save pa dito, may maiiwan pa, hindi po talaga ito remote no. ‘Yun nga lamang kailangan po naming ipabatid din sa kanila na shempre ito’y dadaan din po sa pag-aaral pa namin at titignan namin kung talagang kakayanin pa and then from there sasabihin natin sa ating mga kababayan (This is not impossible if there will still be available funds. But we have to inform them that this will still go under evaluation and discussion to know if the fund will still suffice the aid and then from there we will let the people know),” Lopez said.
“Hindi po natin sila pinaasaa, sinasabi rin po namin yung reyalidad ano and then ‘yung posibilidad. Ayaw din naman po namin na marami sa ating mga kababayan eh malungkot dahil kasi nga hindi manlang sila naabot ng ating programa (We are not setting their expectations high, we are actually telling them both the reality and possibility. We do not want our countrymen to feel sad because the assistance has not reached them),” he continued.
In a briefing, Lopez announced that a total of P1,378,985,000 aid has been distributed to 559,523 indigent students over the six-week duration of the educational assistance program.
This number has exceeded the DSWD’s target beneficiaries of 400,000 students, Lopez added.
From this amount, P712,901,000 was dispensed to college and vocational course students, P236,554,000 to senior high school students, P253,250,000 to high school students, and P176,280,000 to elementary students.
Almost 1.5 million student applicants were not able to receive the assistance, Lopez said.
“Ang nakikita po natin d’yan marahil kami na po talaga ang nagkulang, hindi po namin na-accommodate (What we can see from it is that we also had our shortcomings, we were not able to accommodate),” Lopez said.
This, he explained, is due to the department’s limited budget.
Moreover, Lopez also said that the cash distribution process turned out generally good and that they are satisfied with its outcome since it became an “additional lifeline” for them and their parents.
There were still some who tried to personally walk into their offices despite the advice that the application process will be done online, he added.
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