Fact checks on online scams

FACT CHECK: Online DSWD form for education aid is fake


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FACT CHECK: Online DSWD form for education aid is fake
The Department of Social Welfare and Development has repeatedly warned against posts allegedly from the agency offering education cash assistance to the public

Claim: The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) posted an online application form for its 2024 education assistance program. 

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: Multiple misleading graphics carrying the claim were posted on TikTok and viewed over 24,900 times as of writing. 

The photos used the logo of the DSWD to promote its alleged 2024 education cash assistance program that offers P2,000 for kindergarten and pre-school students, P3,000 for elementary students, P4,000 for junior high school students, P5,000 for senior high school students, and P6,000 for college students.

The TikTok account that posted the claim, which has over 151,700 followers, instructed potential applicants to click the link on its bio that directs to an unverified external website that may put the public’s personal information at risk.

The facts: The application form for the supposed education assistance is fake and not from the DSWD.

In a post on its official Facebook account on March 14, the agency said it does not ask for any personal information online to apply for “educational assistance” because it is prohibited under the Data Privacy Act.

The DSWD also urged the public to verify the information they read online, especially if it does not come from a credible source, to avoid being victims of scams. (READ: Phishing 101: How to spot and avoid phishing)

Fake application form: The post claims to offer an online version of DSWD’s Social Amelioration Card (SAC), a profiling tool the agency uses to identify potential beneficiaries for its Social Amelioration Program intended to help Filipinos during the COVID-19 lockdown. 

According to the DSWD’s special guidelines, the SAC form is distributed at the barangay level and is the agency’s mechanism for beneficiaries to access the government’s social amelioration programs.

Education assistance: The DSWD offers education aid through its “Tara, BASA! Tutoring Program” which is their “re-formatted” program that offers education assistance through cash-for-work interventions for low-income families. 

Launched on August 2, 2023, the program aims to help low-income college students complete their tertiary education while engaging them in nation-building. Under the program, college students can earn P570 per day for 20 days by assisting Grade 1 students who are either struggling readers or non-readers.

Aside from the tutoring program, the DSWD also offers education aid through its Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation program.

Previous fact-checks: Rappler has debunked fake education assistance programs supposedly offered by the DSWD:

For official updates on DSWD programs and services, refer to its official website, Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and YouTube accounts. –  Larry Chavez/Rappler.com

Larry Chavez is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. You may also report dubious claims to the #FactsFirstPH tipline by messaging Rappler on Facebook or Newsbreak via Twitter direct message. You may also report through our Viber fact check chatbot. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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