DSWD helps more than 520,000 individuals in distress

Distressed individuals, including persons with disabilities (PWDs) can always count on the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), especially during this time of COVID-19 pandemic. 

The assurance was made by DSWD Assistant Secretary Glenda Relova during the House Committee on Appropriations’ deliberations on the agency’s proposed 2021 budget. 

"DSWD is always true  to its mandate regardless of whatever pandemic will occur in our country. The DSWD is always here ready to respond to all individuals, families and communities needing assistance from the DSWD,” she told the panel. 

She said the agency under its Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program has extended cash assistance to more 520,000 individuals.

“As of July 31, the AICs has served 526, 270 clients which is around 59 percent of our target for this year,” Relova said. 

She said those PWDs who lost their jobs, and who are in need of aid will be assisted by the agency under AICS since they are not entitled to receive emergency cash aid under the national government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

“As of today, they can still avail our regular AICs if they are in need of assistive devices or financial assistance,” she said. 

Relova noted that as of July 2020,  the agency has served 5,185 PWDs, 3,881 of whom are provided with financial assistance. 

The DSWD official apprised the panel that the Department is "always programming assistance to the different Field Offices.

Under AICS,  target beneficiaries are expected to receive assistance in the form of outright cash to assist them in providing the basic needs of the families. 

The cash aid is given once a month for two months during the quarantine period, according to the DSWD guidelines. 

The DSWD earlier said that most of the requests are for medical or burial assistance.

Negros Oriental 1st District Rep. Jocelyn Sy Limkaichong, panel vice chairperson who presided the deliberations, asked the DSWD to submit the list showing the AICS allocation per legislative district. 

“I think most of the congressmen who were listening right now or onboard would want to know how much AICS were extended to different districts. Kindly inform the different regional directors to coordinate with the district offices of our representatives,” she said. 

Based on the DSWD guidelines,  among the beneficiaries of AICS are homeless families and other vulnerable groups, indigenous peoples,  informal sectors, and farmers and fisherfolks. 

It provides that beneficiaries who already received COVID-19 Adjustment Measure Program (CAMP) Grant or Tulong Panghanapbuhay para sa Displaced/Disadvantaged Worker (TUPAD)  from the Department of Labor and Employment, and other comparable assistance from other national government agencies are no longer eligible for AICS.