Saturday, August 27, 2022 was a hot day, but at the ABL Sports Complex in Kalibo, Aklan, most people are wearing happy faces despite the heat.
That day was the second Saturday for the scheduled payout of educational assistance under the Assistance for Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and that Saturday was a far cry from the Saturday of the past week, the first schedule of the payout.
There were many reasons why the people are smiling – especially the recipients – students, and parents representing their children, as they were set to receive their financial assistance in time for the school opening; the place was bigger, comfortable and cooler as there was a roof over their heads and bleachers to sit on while waiting for their number to be called; and the fast system in processing and releasing their cash assistance as the DSWD is prepared to receive and entertain them, having been texted already that it is their turn to appear at the payout.
The DSWD people were also smiling, as the crowd that day was so different from the one that they saw during the first Saturday on August 20, who appeared uncomfortable and impatient under the heat of the sweltering sun as they lined up in front of the Provincial Capitol Building.
The August 27 payout was also significant as it was graced by DSWD Undersecretary Alan Tanjusay, who came all the way from the Central Office to witness the educational assistance payout in Aklan.
This time, the people are holding their numbers and are waiting to be called, confident and assured that that day, they will truly get their assistance. This time, the processing was orderly and fast.
Based on the records of the DSWD, the August 27 AICS payout benefited 958 Aklanon students, with a total of P2,733,000.00 million in cash disbursed.
Roselito Tanala of Buenasuerte, Nabas,
Aklan, John Rey Rebutar of Bakhaw Norte, Kalibo, Aklan,and Rissa Estanislao of Linayasan Altavas, Aklan are three out of these 958 Aklanons who sported happy, glowing faces upon leaving the last table, where they got their cash assistance after undergoing assessments/interviews at other tables manned by red-garbed staff of the DSWD.
According to Roselito Tanala, 40 years old, he left his house together with his daughter at 4:00 a.m. to line up for the assistance afterreceiving a text from the DSWD. He received P6,000.00 for his three children – 1 Senior High, 1 High School, and 1 Elementary. He said he will use the money to buy additional school supplies for his children.
John Rey Rebutar, 19 years old and a second-year college student of Garcia College of Technology in Kalibo taking Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSIT), said he arrived at the venue at 6:00 a.m. He received P4,000.00 which he said will be used to purchase P.E. uniform, school uniform, and additional school supplies.
On the other hand, Rissa Estanislao, a mother of two children, said she received P2,000.00 for her child who is in high school. She will use the money to buy school supplies, shoes and school uniform for her son.
“Gutok eon abi ro mga uniform nana (his school uniforms do not fit anymore),” she said. As her son did not accompany her to Kalibo, she said they will just buy his shoes in Altavas.
The systematic, orderly payout that Saturday was a showcase how cooperation, concern and respect all contribute to a harmonious and peaceful activity.
Everyone gave their all, according to the DSWD, whose regional and provincial staff, clad in red, came to the ABL Sports Complex to lend their hand in making the people, especially those in difficult circumstances, feel loved and valued by the government.
According to Beverly Salazar, Pantawid Pamilya Provincial Operations Officer, 85 strong DSWD personnel from Aklan handling various programs augmented the provincial staff in the payout activity while 108 police officers from the Aklan Police Provincial Office (APPO) and Kalibo Municipal Police Station helped in securing peace and order inside and outside the venue. (JBG/VGV/PIA6 Aklan)