A total of 70 street children from seven districts of Iloilo City were given educational assistance at City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) gym July 23.
The initiative was part of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) VI’s Comprehensive Program for Street Children, Street Families and Indigenous Peoples through CSWDO.
Mayor Jose Espinosa III led the distribution of P2,000 each to 16 beneficiaries from Molo district; 13 from City Proper; 12 from Lapuz and La Paz; 10 each from Arevalo and Mandurriao; and nine from Jaro.
Beneficiaries are in the elementary and high school level chosen from the barangays.
“We thank the DSWD for giving our children this assistance. We all know that every child has the right to education. Unfortunately, some families are not financially stable. Because of this initiative, you have no more reason not to study. This is your chance to work for brighter future. We are always here to support you,” Espinosa said.
CSWDO Focal Person for Children and Youth Merlyn Gison said the social workers and district coordinators closely monitor the performances of the children in school and community.
“It’s our primary duty to check if they have complied with at least 85% school attendance; and if there are some problems, we call the parent’s attention. Most importantly, we’re asking the cooperation of the parents or guardians. It’s their responsibility to take charge of their children,” Gison said.
“We also coordinate with Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC) to make sure that they no longer work, sleep or stay late in the streets,” she added.
One of the beneficiaries Jayhard Jotes, Grade 7 student from Brgy. Gustilo, La Paz, said the money will be spent for school projects.
“My parents are both working but their income is still not enough to support the needs of the family. Because of this program, I don’t have to ask money from them to pay for some projects in school,” Jotes said. (Thessalonia Ordales/Iloilo City PIO)