Oliver Bugarin 13 0 0 6 min to read

LGUs are requested to assist in the distribution of DSWD educational aid.

Benjamin Abalos Jr., secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), asked all local government units (LGUs) on Monday to give manpower support to enable a smooth distribution of financial aid by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Abalos also urged LGUs to establish set locations for the delivery of the DSWD’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program statement.

Following a flurry of visitors to the DSWD central and regional offices, DSWD Secretary Erwin Tulfo asked LGUs to assist in the distribution of the AICS educational, and financial aid.

The DSWD’s AICS program offers a range of protective services for families with children who are at risk, including financial aid for schooling to cover school costs and tuition.

Elementary school kids from impoverished families will receive PHP1,000 apiece under this initiative, while high school students would receive PHP2,000, senior high school students PHP3,000, and college students PHP4,000.

According to Abalos, the DSWD must work with the LGUs to perform information dissemination on the rules, procedures, and timetable for registering beneficiaries and distributing aid in accordance with the terms of the memorandum of understanding (MOA) between the DILG and DSWD.

“We look to our LGUs for assistance in this enormous project so that we can distribute the AICS to the children who need them the most. This is a significant help to those in need, so we anticipate the support of local governments, said Abalos in a statement. “This is a big benefit to those in need, so we expect the support of local governments,” he said.

According to him, the LGUs should provide the DSWD with the required assistance so that it may distribute educational and financial help to eligible participants of the AICS program in time for the start of the school year 2022–2023.

To prevent overcrowding of students and their parents, it is advised in circumstances of cities and large municipalities to establish many distribution centers. We urge our local government units to act quickly in response to DSWD Secretary Tulfo’s appeal. I am not qualified to speak for the group of people who are ganitong pamamahagi of tulong pinansyal for our group of citizens (We are not new to such distributions of financial assistance to our countrymen). Let’s take action and offer all the assistance we can to ensure that the financial aid that will be given to our kids is distributed successfully, he said.

However, the DILG Chief made it clear that while LGUs will help with the financial aid distribution, it will be the DSWD staff and social workers, not local government employees or barangays, who will distribute the funds.

“Pero mayroon po tayo tinatawag na paymasters ng DSWD na siyang mangangasiwa sa pamimigay ng help. (We have what we refer to as DSWD paymasters who would supervise the distribution of aid. Ang LGU po ay naroon upang umalalay. The LGU is there to help),” added Abalos.

The list of LGUs where the distribution will take place, along with the date and hour of the distribution, he added, will be given to the DILG by DSWD.

In order to ensure the orderly, secure, and timely transfer, delivery, and distribution of monies, Abalos also gave the Philippine National Police (PNP) the order to provide police support during the execution of the AICS.

According to him, the police would uphold law and order and protect everyone’s safety during the delivery of educational help, just like they had done in the past. He stated that while the nation is still dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and has recorded three cases of monkeypox, minimum public health standards (MPHS) must also be applied as much as feasible.

Abalos also urged local government units (LGUs) to keep applying their top strategies for allocating funding, including methods for crowd control and online or digital rewards.

In order to achieve a more structured distribution of monetary aid, he further reminded the recipients to cooperate and abide by the rules established by the DILG and DSWD.

“We are urging the people to cooperate and display discipline when they receive their educational support so that we may be organized,” said Abalos. “Hinihiling po natin sa ating mga kababayan na makiisa po at pairalain ang disiplina kapag sila are kukuha ng kanilang educational assistance.”

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