DSWD simplifies guidelines for faster release of cash aid to individuals in crisis situation

Published August 5, 2022, 12:33 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz


The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has issued the updated guidelines on the implementation of the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS) that will expedite the release of aid to families and individuals in difficult circumstances needing immediate support.

This was after DSWD Secretary Erwin T. Tulfo directed the enhancement and simplification of guidelines of the agency’s frontline programs, like the AICS.

“As part of its commitment to making the process convenient to the clients, the DSWD, through its Crisis Intervention Division, has reviewed and revised the existing guidelines to ensure the faster and more efficient delivery of assistance under AICS, hence, increasing the number of beneficiaries served,” the DSWD said in a statement on Wednesday, August 3.

Under Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 15, the DSWD streamlined the implementing procedure, simplified the intake and eligibility forms and documentary requirements and lengthened its validity, and adjusted the rates of assistance and its corresponding approving authorities at the Central Office and Field and Satellite Offices.

Based on the revised guidelines, DSWD said that the client will now have to undergo only three steps to avail of any services and interventions under the AICS program.

The three steps are:

* Screening process. The client has to present the documentary requirements and needs to be cross-matched in the database.

* Interview. The social worker will interview the beneficiary and assess the documents presented.

The type of assistance will also be determined by the social worker based on the actual need of the client.

* Release of assistance. All clients who have been assessed as qualified and approved will proceed to Step 3 for the release of whatever assistance they need.

DSWD noted that the release of the financial assistance below P10,000 may be granted within the day, while above the said amount may be released within three to five days, subject to further approval of the upper management.

Furthermore, assistance above P10,000, especially medical and funeral, may be released through a guarantee letter, unless other modes are necessary as may be justified by the social worker.

The memorandum circular also provides a general rule that the beneficiary or the authorized representative must submit only a copy of their up-to-date and valid ID or alternative documents for identification along with the needed documents specific to the type of assistance they are seeking for and the required General Intake Sheet (GIS) and Certificate of Eligibility (CE), which are both issued by the DSWD.

DSWD clarified that victims of fire, typhoons, abuse or other calamities, and indigenous people, who may have no available valid ID, are exempted from this rule.

However, it noted that they still need to present a barangay certification or justification from the DSWD social welfare officer pertaining to the absence of their ID.

It also advised its clients that any person acting as an authorized representative of the beneficiary must also present a duly signed authorization letter.

In addition to the identification documents, DSWD stressed that a hard or electronic copy of the GIS and CE are required when requesting any assistance under the AICS program, except for material assistance, as these documents will record the basic information of the clients and will prove that an individual is eligible to receive aid.

With this initiative, the DSWD hopes the queue lines in front of its offices will be shortened and that the clients, especially the poor and marginalized, will be provided assistance in the easiest and fastest way possible.