After the overcrowding incident, DSWD taps LGUs’ help in releasing educational aid

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“We are very sorry”, these were the words of the Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the statement published on the website of the DSWd on Saturday afternoon after the overcrowding in their main office in Quezon City and other branches on the first day of distribution of educational aid.

Sec Tulfo said that they will do better next coming Saturday and next five more Saturdays.

DSWD Secretary Erwin Tulfo said in a press briefer that the MOA should be inked by Monday.

The DSWD will sign a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to avoid a repeat of the “uncontrolled” crowd that swarmed its central office on the first day of the distribution of educational aid on Saturday.

“Starting next week, tutulong na po ang local government units (LGUs). Pero ang DSWD social workers pa rin po ang magma-manage ng distribution (Next week, the LGUs will help out but DSWD social workers will still manage the payout),” Tulfo said.

Other than the ‘miscommunication” the expanded beneficiary coverage and the removal of indigency proof requirements briefing were the reasons why there was overcrowding in the main office and other sites of the DSWD.

“Starting next week, tutulong na po ang local government units (LGUs). Pero ang DSWD social workers pa rin po ang magma-manage ng distribution (Next week, the LGUs will help out but DSWD social workers will still manage the payout),” Tulfo said.

Applicants seeking educational assistance camped outside the central office in Diliman, Quezon City on Friday night while long lines were also reported in provincial offices.

The queue was halted at 7 a.m. as all slots were already filled.

Those who were not accommodated were given stubs for the next Saturday-only release on August 27.

Binigyan na lang po namin ng stubs para makabalik sila next week. Sayang naman kung pipila pa sila pero hindi naman ma-accommodate kasi nga filled na ((The others were given stubs so they can come back next week. It will just be a waste if they continue to line up when the slots are already filled),” Tulfo said.

Chaotic

Meanwhile, at Zamboanga City High School’s main campus in Barangay Tetuan, 29 were injured when the crowd rushed toward the gate.

Col. Alexander Lorenzo, Zamboanga City Police Office director, said the incident happened at about 8 a.m. on Saturday.

The Zamboanga City Medical Center (ZCMC), through its Public Affairs and Customer Care Unit, said they provided immediate care to the 29 injured, composed of two men and 27 women aged between 16 years and 58 years.

“There were no reported victims in critical condition and everyone was treated as an outpatient. ZCMC Medical Social Services will handle the processing of all medical costs,” ZCMC said in a statement posted on Facebook.

 

Ivan Eric Salvador, DSWD-Zamboanga Peninsula information officer, said in a statement that they aim for 500 recipients each Saturday until September 24.

“We pre-register the names of those wanting to avail of the educational assistance for assessment. Those who will qualify will be notified when to claim the financial assistance.”

The financial assistance for indigent students will accommodate up to three children per family — PHP1,000 for elementary students, PHP2,000 for high school, PHP3,000 for senior high school, and PHP4,000 for college and vocational course students.

The assistance will be distributed at the DSWD central office, regional, provincial, and other local offices for six Saturdays until September 24. (PNA)