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Request for assistance under AICS now easier for clients – DSWD

Following the directive of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Erwin T. Tulfo to enhance and simplify the guidelines of its frontline programs, the Department has issued 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.

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.

Through the recently issued 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, the client will now have to undergo only three steps to avail of any services and interventions under the AICS Program. The first step is the screening where the client has to present the documentary requirements and needs to be crossmatched in the database. After which, the social worker will conduct an interview with the beneficiary and an assessment of the papers presented. At this stage, the type of appropriate assistance will also be determined by the social worker based on the actual need of the client. Lastly, all clients who have been assessed as qualified and approved will proceed to Step 3 for the release of whatever assistance they need.

The DSWD noted that the release of the financial assistance below Php 10,000 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 Php 10,000, especially medical and funeral, may be released through a guarantee letter, unless other modes are necessary as may be justified by the Social Worker.

Meanwhile, the MC No. 15 also provides a general rule that the beneficiary or the authorized representative must submit only a copy of their up-to-date and valid Identification Card (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 Department.

The Department 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, they still need to present a barangay certification or justification from the DSWD Social Welfare Officer pertaining to the absence of their ID.

Likewise, the DSWD reminded 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, the Department 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 Department is hopeful that the queue lines in front of DSWD offices will be shortened and that the clients, especially the poor and marginalized, will be provided assistance in the easiest and fastest way possible so that many Filipinos in need will be assisted, as envisioned by Secretary Tulfo.

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