Individuals and families affected by the localized lockdowns in Visayas and Mindanao areas are set to receive aid as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), along with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Department of National Defense (DND), signed on July 25 the implementing guidelines for the distribution of financial assistance to local government units under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).
With the Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2, Series of 2021, an estimate of more than one million affected individuals and families in Iloilo Province including Iloilo City; Cagayan de Oro City, and Gingoog City in Misamis Oriental, will receive P1,000 cash assistance for each member with a maximum amount of P4,000 per family through the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) of the DSWD.
DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista thanked the DILG and the DND for their continued support and contribution in providing necessary assistance in the implementation of important programs for the benefit of Filipinos in need during this pandemic, especially the families in Iloilo City, Iloilo Province; Cagayan de Oro City and in Gingoog, Misamis Oriental.
Based on the guidelines, priority target beneficiaries of the special AICS are affected individuals and families, who are suffering from the economic disruption brought about by the declaration of a localized ECQ in their area.
The target beneficiaries may include families who were previous recipients of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) under Bayanihan 1 and additional beneficiaries of emergency subsidy under Bayanihan 2; individuals belonging to vulnerable groups, such as individuals living alone, senior citizens or Persons with Disability (PWD); and others who have been stranded by reason of employment in the province, city, or municipality under ECQ. The JMC emphasized that the target beneficiaries, at the time of the declaration of the ECQ, must be physically residing, either temporarily or permanently, or who are still in the ECQ areas.
Meanwhile, as part of its technical assistance, the DSWD will provide the local government units (LGUs) with the list of beneficiaries of the SAP which will serve as reference for LGUs in identifying the final list of beneficiaries to be granted assistance in their respective localities.
Under the JMC, LGUs are encouraged to post on their official websites, social media accounts, and at conspicuous places in the concerned barangays the list of approved beneficiaries, prior to actual distribution.
LGUs are expected to release the assistance in cash to the beneficiaries and conduct the distribution of financial assistance within 15 days from receipt of funds transferred by the DSWD.
Furthermore, based on the JMC, LGUs will create their own Grievance and Appeals Committee to receive and address complaints or grievances.
A Joint Monitoring and Inspection Committee (JMIC) will also be created to provide technical assistance to the concerned LGUs and to monitor their compliance with the provisions of the JMC and the Special AICS Guidelines of the DSWD.
Lastly, the distribution of the special AICS is an additional assistance on top of the provision of Family Food Packs to help ease the socio-economic effects of the pandemic, most especially for Filipinos living in areas under ECQ.