By Xy Aldrae Murillo

Following the chaos from the opening day of the department’s educational assistance program launched last August 20, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), along with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), have agreed that only applicants registered online or through QR codes are permitted to receive the said assistance.

Photo Courtesy of DSWD/Sec. Erwin Tulfo (Facebook)/The Philippine STAR

According to DSWD Secretary Erwin Tulfo, walk-in transactions are no longer allowed for students who aim to seek financial aid.

"That is the difference now, we will only cater to those already registered online or have acquired QR code. We will no longer accept walk-ins to avoid what happened on the first day of roll-out," Tulfo said.

“Aside from online, puwedeng QR code, puwedeng text kung hindi smartphone ang gamit nila, sasagutin naman namin. There is no more reason na sabihin nilang wala kaming cellphone. Tapos ‘yung mga anak nila nag-online naman last year, e di magpaturo po sila sa anak nila o ‘yung anak nila ang magregister. Madali lang po kaming hanapin, pupunta lang po sa website ng DSWD at do’n nila makikita ‘yun,” he added.

The huge crowd overpowered the DSWD central and regional offices last Saturday as the said assistance payout piloted.

“I think this is a blessing in disguise because what President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. wants is to digitize the government. So we have to start it now,” Tulfo said.

The mechanics for the online registration is yet to be announced by the department, but it was given that the contact details of DSWD are 0931-796-0362 or [email protected].

According to Tulfo, about P500 million is allotted for the program with only three students allowed per family to receive the assistance. The amounts of aid are as follows: P1,000 for elementary students, P2,000 for junior high school students, P3,000 for senior high school students, and P4,000 for college students or those taking vocational courses.

The educational assistance will last for six Saturdays until September 24, 2022.

Edited by Juliana Mondoyo