ONLINE REGISTRATION. An employee of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Cordillera in Baguio City assists people applying for educational assistance. More than PHP4.45 million was released to over 1,400 students in Cordillera. (PNA photo from DSWD-CAR FB)

BAGUIO CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development-Cordillera Administration Region (DSWD-CAR) has released a total of PHP4,455,000 in financial assistance to 1,425 students from all levels since Aug. 20.

The DSWD-CAR said the initial payout was released to 99 beneficiaries in Apayao, 237 in Abra, 561 in Kalinga, 20 in Mountain Province, 112 in Ifugao, 251 in Benguet, and 145 at the regional field office here that cover beneficiaries in Baguio City of the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis (AICS).

Leo Quintilla, regional director of the DSWD-CAR, on Tuesday said that “as instructed by [DSWD] Sec. Erwin Tulfo, tuluy-tuloy ang aming assessment (our assessment is ongoing).”

He said they are coming up with schemes on how to better improve the system of distribution and prevent long queues at the distribution sites.

Applicants must register online at tinyurl.com/AICS-DSWD and provide the information needed. A text message will be sent stating the date and place of payout.

During the initial payout, Quintilla said personnel of the DSWD assisted in the online registration of the applicants to prevent them from queueing for long hours.

Eligible persons include students from poor families, working students, breadwinners of the family, orphan or abandoned children, persons with disability, victims of calamity, children of solo parent/ distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFW), or a person living with human immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV).

The applicant must have a school registration form or certificate of enrollment, valid identification of the claimant or a school ID, or any government-issued ID of the authorized representative.

“Malaking tulong ang pinansyal na tulong na natanggap para sa araw-araw na pamasahe ng aking anak na isang college student (the financial assistance is a big help to the daily fare of my child who is in college),” Dexie Arabejo, a solo parent and one of the beneficiaries who received PHP4,000 on Aug. 20, said.

Gina Marie Tadeo from Cabuluan, Bangued, who received PHP6,000, said she will use the money to buy school supplies for her children. She earlier received a PHP10,000 assistance from the department for their totally damaged house due to the July 27 earthquake. The family still stays in a tent.

Lorena Ermino of Navy Base, Baguio City said they registered online and were able to get financial assistance for her children.

The education assistance under the AICS program of the DSWD was approved by the government to address the clamor of parents for assistance due to the economic slump brought about by the coronavirus disease 2019. (PNA)