GOV'T ASSISTANCE. The Department of Social Welfare and Development continues to release cash assistance to students amid heavy rains experienced in the region on Sept. 3, 2022. A total of 5,752 student beneficiaries in the Cordillera region have received assistance from the government through the DSWD. (Photo courtesy of DSWD-CAR)

BAGUIO CITY – For a self-supporting student or someone from a cash-strapped family, receiving cash assistance helps a lot in making both ends meet.

One of the beneficiaries, Esther Marie Balneg of Tayum, Abra who is a college student, sees the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) assistance to individuals in a crisis situation (AICS) as a "savior".

The DSWD quoted Balneg as saying in an interview: “My sibling and I can feel the difficulties of life since the death of our parents who used to support us. The money from the DSWD is a good start that we will use for the things I need as I start my college life.”

"Wala mang kasiguraduhan, pero tuloy ang laban para makapagtapos (Nothing is certain but I will continue amid the challenges that life brings so that I could finish college).”

She promised to properly use the money for her education.

Another beneficiary from Tayum town, Laurence Jay Patucannay, who wants to become a policeman, said the assistance brings new hope to students like him who are financially hard up but are dreaming of a better future by acquiring an education.

“I will do my best so I can send myself to school and become a policeman,” he said. “I will use the money wisely and save it until I can find other solutions to my needs."

Patucannay said when his mother died in July this year, the DSWD also helped them.

After also receiving the educational assistance, Marjorie Castro of Itogon, Benguet province, a solo parent who has children in college and high school, said, “makukumpleto ko na ang mga school supplies nila (I can now complete their school supplies).”

She said the process for receiving the financial aid is simple if the applicant provides the complete requirements.

The DSWD went on with its third day of payout last Sept. 3 at the various towns and provinces in the region.

Based on the DSWD-Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) data, the agency has released a total of PHP15.77 million to assist 5,752 students: 728 in Apayao province; 1,514 in Abra; 917 in Kalinga; 495 in Mountain Province; 1,029 in Ifugao; 246 in Benguet; and 823 at the regional field office here.

The DSWD, in a social media post again advised registrants for the AICS to wait for the text message before proceeding to any social welfare and development office.

Leo Quintilla, regional director of the DSWD-CAR, earlier said the payout venues would strictly cater only to those with confirmed appointment to avoid long queues and crowding.

In a message to the media on Monday, he said some beneficiaries who were scheduled to receive their assistance last Sept. 3 failed to show up at payout locations due to bad weather.

Meanwhile, he reiterated the policy that members of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) are ineligible from receiving the educational assistance.

Quintilla also reminded the beneficiaries to bring the requirements on their scheduled payout as the agency implements mandatory submission of the documents before releasing the fund. (PNA)