AN opposition congressman yesterday bared the plan of the House of Representatives to pass a still
undetermined amount of supplemental budget to finance the educational assistance of indigent students
whose fund this year was allegedly used by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for
Marawi humanitarian mission.
In a weekly press conference, House Deputy Minority Leader and Ako-Bicol party-list Rep.
Alfredo Garbin said he was informed by House Majority Floor Leader and Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo
“Rudy” Fariñas about the advice of the Department of Budget of Management (DBM) on the matter.
“I brought this concern to the attention of our Majority Leader during our meeting and he told
me that passing a supplemental budget is an option to address the depleted resources for the
educational assistance to the poor, but well-deserving students,” said Garbin, referring to the
meeting of the House committee on rules chaired by Fariñas last Tuesday.
Garbin said his party-list group which has two more representatives this 17th Congress has an
estimated 4,000 scholars benefitting from the DSWD program.
Under the program, Garbin said a qualified student-beneficiary is receiving at least P3,000
per semester or P6,000 for the whole year.
“Nakakahiya sa mga bata na nangangailangan dahil after we processed their papers ay hindi
naman pala nila makukuha ang benepisyo,” said Garbin, adding that the problem on the release of
educational assistance is now a nationwide concern.
As of the moment, Garbin said lawmakers are submitting their respective reports to the House
leadership on the number of their students-beneficiary for them to determine the amount of the
supplemental budget to be passed.
At the same time, Garbin disclosed that the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI)
has ceased honoring as of the moment medical assistance through guaranteed letters being issued by the
Department of Health (DoH) upon the request of lawmakers to help the indigent patients.
Garbin said the DoH reportedly has not been paying the NKTI of its outstanding obligations.