Large crowds seeking cash aid for students thronged the Department of Social Welfare and Development main office in Quezon City on Saturday, prompting overwhelmed authorities to rework the distribution of the stipend in the coming weeks.
Many refused to leave the queue despite being given claim stubs with assurances that they would receive the money at a later date. The distribution will prioritize those who registered online and will stop by 8 p.m. Saturday at the latest, DSWD Sec. Erwin Tulfo said.
For the next five Saturdays, or until Sept. 24, the DSWD will tap local governments to distribute the cash aid by city or municipality instead of handing out the cash at the agency's headquarters, Tulfo said.
Tulfo said President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. called him up early Saturday to ask about the long lines. He said the lines grew large as the scope was widened to those without certificates of indigency from their respective barangays.
"We have seen the problem ngayon na talagang ang mga tao po ay nagkakagulo, hindi nasusunod ang pila," Tulfo said.
The DSWD pledged cash aid of P1,000 for elementary, P2,000 for high school, P3,000 for senior high school and P4,000 for college and vocational students.
Tulfo said the lines started as early as Friday night and by Saturday morning, those without online appointments merged with those who pre-registered online for the stipend. He said the lines also attracted those seeking 4Ps or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino.
"Pakiusap namin kung pupuwede, bumalik na lang kayo may stub na kayo, maaaring bumalik na lang kayo. Kung magtitiyaga kayo sa labas ng pila, baka wala din ho, mauwi sa wala, mas mabuti umuwi na lang kayo tutal meron kayong stub," he said.