PAYOUT. The conduct of educational assistance payout for qualified beneficiaries in Iloilo City held at the Iloilo Freedom Grandstand on Aug. 27, 2022. Atty. May Rago-Castillo, DSWD information officer for Western Visayas, said on Tuesday (Aug. 30, 2022)
they are trying to address how to serve students who could not register online. (Photo courtesy of DSWD Western Visayas FB page)

ILOILO CITY – Close to 50 percent of the PHP91 million fund allotted for the educational assistance of students in crisis in Western Visayas has been disbursed to 16,033 recipients during the Aug. 20 and Aug. 27 payout of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Atty. May Rago-Castillo, DSWD information officer for Western Visayas, said on Tuesday that PHP43.894 million were disbursed and the national office has been informed of the status of the fund support.

“Educational assistance is under the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS); it is a regular program of the DSWD. It was only hyped now because it always had a limited funding,” she said in an interview on Tuesday.

Based on the DSWD consolidated report, of the 16,033 student-recipients; 3,937 are in elementary; 3,214, secondary; 2,015, senior high school; and 6,867 in college/vocational courses.

Iloilo has the highest number of beneficiaries with 5, 201; Capiz has 2,560; Negros Occidental, 2, 541; Aklan, 2,153; Antique, 1,903; and Guimaras with 1,675.

Under the program, qualified elementary students can avail of PHP1,000; high school, PHP2,000; senior high school, PHP3,000; and PHP4,000 for vocational/college students.

Castillo said one challenge to be addressed is how to reach students who could not access the online registration.

She said they placed a drop box at the entrance of payout centers over the weekend where applicants could leave their contact details for scheduling.

“Rest assured that the management will strategize for those in GIDA (geographically isolated and disadvantaged area). We will provide an advisory once it is finalized,” she said. (PNA)