The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has inked a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to ensure the orderly and expeditious provision of Educational Assistance to students-in-crisis as part of its Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program at the DSWD central office on Wednesday.
The MOA, signed by DSWD Secretary Erwin Tulfo and DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr., served as a seal of the joint commitment of both agencies to implement the provision of Educational Assistance through the best conditions and strategies available.
“This partnership is what this administration would like to establish – to have unity in action, employ ‘bayanihan’ (communal effort). A lesson which we learned well, especially as last Saturday was an eye opener to the extent of the need of the Filipinos for aid amid the pandemic and inflation,” Tulfo said.
“Your government heard it loud and clear. And I assure you that the Marcos administration will take care of this problem. Rest assured that our actions mean to serve well and DSWD will continue to exhaust all efforts to fulfill its mandate in line with our core value of service wherein every Filipino is significant. Bawat buhay mahalaga sa DSWD (Every life is important to DSWD),” the Secretary added.
Through the agreement, the DILG pledged to assist the DSWD and local government units (LGUs) in providing on-the-ground human resource support to the payout sites, security, health workers, and other support manpower, to facilitate a smooth distribution of educational assistance.
The DILG will also provide security assistance, through the Philippine National Police (PNP), at the payout sites to help ensure the safety of the students, their parents, guardians, and other beneficiaries.
Likewise, the Department will also assist in providing fixed venues for convenient distribution, including multiple distribution centers in heavily populated areas.
In addition, Abalos assured that the disbursement of cash assistance will be facilitated by the DSWD to ensure that funds will be properly distributed to the eligible beneficiaries only.
“Ang DSWD, s’ya ang gagawa ng listahan – lahat nang inilista na benepisyaryo. Hindi po si Gobernador, hindi po si Mayor, hindi si Kapitan. Linawin po natin iyan… Pangalawa, ang pera ay hindi galing kay Mayor o galing kay Gobernador o galing kay Kapitan. Ang pera ay mula sa national government, sa ahenya mismo ng DSWD (The DSWD will create the list of the beneficiaries. We would like to clarify that. The list will not come from the Governor, Mayor, or barangay captain. Second, the fund is not from the Mayor, Governor, or barangay captain. The fund is from the national government, from the DSWD),” Abalos said.
Meanwhile, the DSWD, with the assistance of the concerned DILG regional and field offices and LGUs, ensures to provide a sufficient number of safe and spacious payout sites applicable to their respective areas of jurisdiction where the payout for Educational Assistance will be undertaken.
The Educational Assistance of the DSWD under AICS is given to students in crisis through outright cash grants worth PHP1,000 for elementary students, PHP2,000 for high school, PHP3,000 for senior high school, and PHP4,000 for college and vocational courses to defray school expenses and the cost of sending children to schools such as school fees, school supplies, school projects, allowances, and other related expenses. (PNA)