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FACT CHECK: Online DSWD page linking to aid form for education is fake


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FACT CHECK: Online DSWD page linking to aid form for education is fake
Clicking the purported link redirects users to a dead link instead on an e-commerce website

Claim: The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) posted a link to an online registration form offering educational assistance to elementary, high school, and college students.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The claim was found in a post on the Facebook group “4PS ALL REGION,” which has over 719,000 members. The post was made by the page “DSWD 4ps update 2023 all region”, which has 10,000 followers. As of writing, the post has 294 comments and 41 shares.

The post mentions educational assistant payout amounts ranging from P1,000 to P4,000, and contains a link to a purported online registration form.

The facts: The supposed registration link is fake. Clicking the link in the post redirects users to a dead link on an e-commerce website. The official website of the DSWD is www.dswd.gov.ph.

The DSWD provides educational assistance under its Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program. The website does not provide any link to a registration form. 

Last June, the social welfare department advised eligible individuals to go to the satellite offices nearest their places of residence to avail of assistance under the program as this would be “more convenient and economical for them,” according to DSWD spokesperson Assistant Secretary Romel Lopez.

Fake page: In a July 7 post on its official Facebook page, the DSWD clarified that the page “DSWD 4ps update 2023 all region” is not affiliated with the department.

The advisory read: “Huwag magpalinlang! Ang nasabing account ay nagbibigay ng pekeng updates tungkol sa mga programa ng DSWD. Sinusubukan din nitong magpanggap na Kalihim ng Kagawaran at nananakot na iho-hold ang kanilang “payout.”

(Don’t be fooled! The said account provides fake updates about DSWD programs. It also tries to pretend to be the secretary of the department and threatens to withhold their “payout.”)

The agency had previously reminded the public to beware of online scams from websites posing as official DSWD pages.

About AICS: The AICS program is intended to provide educational, medical, funeral, and transportation assistance, as well as food and other supplies for Filipinos facing crises, disasters, or extreme poverty. 

According to DSWD Memorandum Circular No. 15, series of 2022, among the eligible recipients of educational assistance under AICS are breadwinners, working students, students without family or relatives, children of solo or unemployed parents, children of overseas Filipino workers, and children of persons with disabilities.

Under the program, elementary students will receive P1,000; high school students, P2,000; senior high school students, P3,000; and college or vocational students, P4,000. In 2022, the department distributed P1.7 billion worth of educational aid for indigent students under the AICS program. 

Former DSWD secretary: The photo used in the post shows former DSWD Secretary Erwin Tulfo, and was taken from a video dated August 17, 2022. Tulfo is no longer the secretary of the agency. Rex Gatchalian is the current DSWD secretary, having been appointed to the post last January.

Previous false claims. Rappler has previously debunked claims on offers for financial aid from DSWD:

For legitimate news and updates, refer to the DSWD’s official website, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts before clicking, sharing or engaging with posts on social media. – Jamaica Columbres/Rappler.com

Jamaica Columbres is a graduating BS Psychology student from Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila. She is a volunteer under Rappler’s Research unit.

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 #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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