League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP)
LPP urges DSWD to let provinces lead Education Ayuda distribution
Local government units remain an indispensable partner in the orderly implementation of national programs such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Education Assistance Program for Students Nationwide.
“The intention of the national government to reach out and provide cash assistance to the families of students returning to school starting this week is laudable, noble even. However, careful thought should also have been given to how it was executed.”
Such was the observation of League of Provinces of the Philippines National President, Gov. Reynaldo S. Tamayo Jr., on what has been described as a “disastrous” first day of distribution of the education assistance for Filipino families in need.
“We just like to emphasize here that the LGUs are key partners of the national government in implementing projects of this scale and magnitude. All of us 81 provincial governors are always ready to mobilize our own personnel and equipment to help out the national government in its distribution efforts,” Tamayo said.
“The DSWD may have their reservations in tapping the LGUs in the distribution of the education assistance, probably because of the more recent experiences in the distribution of the Social Assistance Program at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. But inevitably, the LGUs are simply the most effective network they have in distributing the educational AICS, simply because we are the ones on the ground.”
“More than the regional and national offices of the DSWD, it is the local governments who have the data to identify the qualified households and those actually in need of assistance, as well as the personnel, facilities, systems and mechanisms to ensure an orderly distribution.”
“We are concerned about the equity of the distribution to ensure that the financial assistance is able to reach all qualified families, especially those in the GIDA municipalities and barangays, who are usually left out simply because of their distance from the regional centers.”
“The provincial governments, pursuant to our mandate of general supervision, are more than willing to take on the responsibility of shepherding and overseeing the distribution of the educational assistance by our component cities and municipalities.”
“We are just a call away, and the DSWD, and any national government agency for that matter, can coordinate with us, so that we can mobilize the necessary resources to help out the poorest of the poor families be able to fulfill their dreams of a better life for their children through equal opportunities to education, no matter where they are residing in.”
“We are supportive of the objectives of Pres. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., toward improving the economy, not only of the Philippines as a country, but also the Filipino as an individual. This is why we take on this initiative to help out the DSWD the best way that we can.”
“It would be best to reach as many Filipino children needing this educational assistance as we can, but we should never lose sight of the need for them to retain their dignity, by making the process of availment easier and more organized.”
“These families are already marginalized as they are and leaving them to expect for assistance that may not come because of pre-determined cut-offs in the number of daily beneficiaries will only add to their marginalization.”
“Let the LGUs do the distribution of the educational ayuda, then let them account for the downloaded funds when the project is done. Structures and mechanisms are already in place at the LGUs, let us allow it to work.” ###
Contact: Angelica J. Sanchez