CASH AID. The distribution of cash assistance to poor students in Ormoc City in this September 24, 2022 photo. The Department of Social Welfare and Development has released PHP99.85 million in educational assistance to 40,429 recipients in Eastern Visayas in the past six weeks. (Photo courtesy of DSWD)

TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development has released PHP99.85 million in educational assistance to 40,429 poor students in Eastern Visayas in the past six weeks.

Lawyer Jonalyndie Chua, DSWD 8 (Eastern Visayas) information officer, said on Tuesday there is no instruction from the central office if there would be releases for next Saturday since the downloaded funds for students “in crisis situation" were depleted.

“Our central office just downloaded PHP94.73 million, but we distributed more. The additional PHP5 million disbursed was from our existing funds for assistance to individuals in crisis situation,” Chua told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

The very limited budget has left out over 240,000 applicants in the region who signed up online in the last week of August.

The DSWD closed its online portal on August 30 after it was swamped with over 250,000 applications from poor students in Eastern Visayas for that month alone.

The applications flooded during the five days the online registration started.

“We will wait for further instruction from our main office if there’s additional budget. We really need this kind of assistance since we are one of the poor regions in the country,” Chua added.

The DSWD distributed cash to poor students every Saturday from August 20 to September 24.

Through the DSWD's educational assistance, cash aid is provided to "students-in-crisis" to help defray costs of tuition, school supplies, transportation allowance, and other school-related expenses.

The aid is given through outright cash grants worth PHP1,000 for elementary learners, 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 school. (PNA)