DSWD's Tulfo looking for possible extension of educational assistance payout

Even after six weeks of payout periods ends on September 24, The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)  is eyeing for a potential one-time extension of the distribution of education support.

DSWD Spokesperson Romel Lopez said the extension depends on the availability of funds from the ₱1.5 billion allocation after the last day of distribution.

He noted there is a huge possibility for an additional payout as there may be funds left.

"DSWD Secretary Erwin Tulfo is studying it. Since there are many applicants, we might have a one-time big time payout. But the Sept. 24 remains as is -- our last payout date for the ₱1.5-billion allocation. If there are any funds left, we will come up with guidelines."

The organization's target beneficiaries were 400,000 students, but as of September 17, it has helped 414,482 students in total, exceeding that number.

Additionally, it has distributed more than $1 billion of its overall budget, primarily to elementary, junior high, and college students.

If the temporary extension is approved, Lopez said the DSWD won't restore the online registration, which was shut down last week because the department's technology could no longer manage the rush of applicants.

" If we will be getting beneficiaries outside the two million applications we received online, it will be those who do not have access to the internet or gadgets. But it's very unlikely that we will accept new applicants." He explained.

In order to reduce the distribution per district, Lopez continued, the DSWD is in discussions with lawmakers to assist identify potential payout locations.

He did, however, make it clear that the department would be in charge of funding, disbursement, and candidate evaluation.

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