The Department of Social Welfare and Development-Davao Region (DSWD-Davao) warned applicants for the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS) educational cash aid against “fixers” who would offer to help them process their application.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, August 24, DSWD-Davao said it has received reports that fixers approach unsuspecting individuals and ask for a processing fee in exchange for the latter’s inclusion in the program.

"Ginapahimangnoan ang tanan nga ilegal kini nga pamaagi ug dili gayud mamaayo nga makigsuki sa maong mga indibidwal nga ginapangwartahan ang atoang panginahanglanon. (Everyone is warned that this method is illegal, and it is never good to deal with such individuals who are monetizing our needs.)," the agency said.

The department also reiterated that the educational assistance is free and does not require a processing fee.

"LIBRE ang AICS Educational Assistance ug walay kinahanglang processing fee ang DSWD alang niini. Likayan ang makigtransaksyon sa mga DILI empleyado sa atoang opisina aron dili ma-scam o mailad sa maong mga matang (The application for AICS is free and DSWD is not requiring any processing fee. Avoid making transactions to non-employees of our office in order not to be scammed or cheated)," DSWD-Davao said.

Meanwhile, at least 3,337 students received cash aid via an educational assistance payout in the region on August 20.

In Davao de Oro, 125 student beneficiaries were served amounting to P220,000; Davao del Norte, 54 students (P103,000); Davao del Sur, 477 (P990,000); Davao Occidental, 605 (P1,289,000); Davao Oriental, 323 (P803,000); and Davao City, 1,753 (P4,708,000).

DSWD-Davao said about P8 million was used for the first payout of the program.

Meanwhile, applications left in office drop boxes are still being assessed. Those who left their documents are requested to wait for a text or call from the agency for the status of their application, the agency said.

The assistance forms part of DSWD's AICS, which has been extended to cover students in crises.

The DSWD will continue accepting applications every Saturday until September 27.

The distribution of AICS on Saturday, August 20, in Tagum City was hounded by complaints, claiming that some individuals have passed out due to heat and exhaustion.

Long lines were also seen outside the DSWD office in Davao City. However, it wasn’t as crowded as compared in Tagum City, based on the monitoring conducted by SunStar Davao.

SunStar reached out to DSWD-Davao Regional Office for their comment on the incident, but they have yet to provide their official statement to the media. RGL