In response to queries, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) clarified that the Department offers educational assistance for indigent students, but the agency has no scholarship program.
“It is not within DSWD’s mandate to implement scholarship programs, but we provide minimal educational assistance as we recognize that indigent students need help in addressing other school-related expenses,” DSWD Officer-in-Charge Emmanuel A. Leyco said.
The educational assistance is part of the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) which forms part of the package of the Protective Services Program (PSP) of the DSWD that provides intervention to individuals, families and communities in difficult and vulnerable situations.
Under the AICS, indigent students may avail of the educational assistance by presenting their assessment form/certificate of enrolment/registration for the current school semester, validated school ID, and a barangay certificate of indigency.
For elementary and high school students, the educational assistance may be secured only once — every enrolment period. Indigent college students, however, may seek assistance every semester.
On-site processing of educational assistance
To prevent students from being inconvenienced by having to travel to DSWD Central Office to avail of the assistance, the Department piloted its on-site processing of educational assistance to seven State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) in the National Capital Region in the first semester of 2017.
These were Quezon City Polytechnic University; University of Caloocan City; Colegio de Montalban; San Mateo Municipal College; University of Rizal System Rodriguez Campus; Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP)- QC Campus; and Valenzuela City Polytechnic College.
Students from these schools were noted to be regular beneficiaries of educational assistance.
For the on-site processing mechanism, the DSWD conducts the assessment in coordination with the Office of Students Affairs (OSA) of the target schools. The schools’ OSA are requested to identify and submit a list of potential student-beneficiaries to the Department. Indigent students who have no existing scholarship grants and those who have not availed of the educational assistance from the previous semesters are given priority.
“The pilot implementation of the on-site processing started last year during the second semester period wherein DSWD served 5,057 students, providing them with financial assistance amounting to a total of P10 million,” OIC Leyco said.
“This is also one way to ensure that indigent students face fewer risks and threats against their safety and security, especially as they will receive cash,” he added.
For the second semester 2017-2018, some 5,000 indigent students are expected to receive P3,000 each. Of the total number of slots for educational assistance, 4,000 are alloted for seven schools while the remaining 1,000 are students from other schools who may also need assistance. Students from other universities may proceed directly to the DSWD Central Office in Batasan or at the DSWD-Field Office NCR in Legarda, Manila.
“Dati kasi, ang mga students sabay-sabay pumupunta sa DSWD Central Office kaya matagal bago matapos lahat ng pagrelease sa assistance (Before the on-site processing, students sometimes arrive at the Central Office at the same time, and because of this, it took hours to finish the processing of all their papers requesting assistance),” he shared.
Aside from the DSWD Central Office, poor students nationwide may avail of the educational assistance at the different regional offices of the Department. However, DSWD clarified that the on-site processing is only implemented by the DSWD Central Office. ###