DSWD resumes cash assistance distribution for COVID-19 affected households
L:DSWD personnel reviewing requirements of an AICS beneficiary in Legazpi City, Albay yesterday at Legazpi City Convention Center; R: An AICS beneficiary received the PhP 5,000.00 cash assistance last February 5, 2021 at Legazpi City Convention Center
Albay – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) resumes distribution of cash assistance under Assistance to Individuals to Crisis Situation (AICS) for economically displaced individuals due to COVID-19 pandemic. There are 1,394 identified beneficiaries in Legazpi City who will receive PhP 5,000.00 each. The beneficiaries will also receive Family Food Packs (FFPs) per household.
The agency is set to distribute a total of PHP 6,970,000.00 to beneficiaries in Legazpi City alone.
Schedule of distribution
In accordance with IATF protocol for public gatherings, the agency scheduled distribution of cash assistance and FFPs for three days to ensure observance of minimum health standards such as physical distancing and wearing of facemasks and face shield. The DSWD scheduled the distribution for beneficiaries in Legazpi City on February 5, 6, and 8. Yesterday, the agency served 281 beneficiaries. Around 600 beneficiaries are scheduled for payout for the second batch while the remaining will be receiving cash assistance on the 8th.
According to Ms. Cristina Samson, Emergency Assistance Section-Crisis Intervention head, DSWD will also conduct AICS distribution in Pioduran, Albay on Monday. Today, the distribution for the second batch of beneficiaries in Legazpi City is at Gogon Central School.
Aside from DSWD, the National Housing Authority (NHA) is also distributing cash assistance under the Emergency Housing Assistance Program (EHAP). According to NHA, there are 1,444 validated households who will receive cash assistance in Legazpi City. These houses were totally damaged during the onslaught of TY Tisoy in 2019.Each EHAP beneficiary will receive PhP 5,000.00 as well.
Assistance for COVID-19 affected households
Most beneficiaries identified by the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) are workers belonging to the informal sector. Economically displaced individuals are mostly those who earn less than the average minimum wage.
Among the 281 beneficiaries catered today is Mrs. Nancy Loveranes, a 59 year old housewife. She plans to use the assistance to purchase housing materials since their house was totally damaged during TY Tisoy. According to her, their situation got worse during the implementation of ECQ.
Much like Mrs. Loveranes, Mr. Jose Baile also experienced difficulty during the ECQ. Mr. Baile earns around PhP 200.00 per day as an eco-aide in their Barangay. “Noong ECQ, nag-kokolekta pa rin ako ng basura. Minsan, PhP 200 kada araw (ang kita). Basta meron nang pambili ng bigas at ulam, okay na,” said Baile. “Minsan, binibigyan ako ng pera ng mga kinokolektahan ko ng basura kaya may pandagdag,” he added.
Mrs. Alma Herrera, daughter of a beneficiary, used to work at a printing press until the ECQ was implemented. According to her, during the ECQ, her family was among the beneficiaries of government assistance. “Si Papa, sa amin na nakatira kasi nasira yung bahay nya. Noong ECQ, nabigyan sya ng tulong galing sa Social Amelioration Program (SAP). Ako naman po, benepisyaryo rin ng 4Ps kaya mayroon din po kaming tulong na natanggap”, Herrera said.
Based on the data from the AICS intake form, most beneficiaries residing in urban barangays of Legazpi are either in construction, carpentry, selling, or housekeeping. Those in rural barangays, especially the upland areas, are dominated by farmers.
The DSWD began its distribution last January 28, 2021 in Sorsogon. During the distribution, there were 189 beneficiaries affected by COVID-19 served. Each beneficiary in Sorsogon received PhP 3,000.00. A total of PhP 567,000.00 was distributed by the agency in the province.
The agency served 281 beneficiaries scheduled for payout yesterday. A total of PhP 1,405,000.00 was distributed on the first day of distribution in Legazpi City.
AICS aims to provide immediate assistance to individuals in need. Aside from assisting disaster affected individuals, it also provides educational, medical, burial, and transportation assistance.