DSWD Secretary: Filipino Cash Aid is for Verified Indigent and Vulnerable in Society

DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian reiterated on Thursday (Jan. 11, 2024) that the government’s assistance through their agency is solely for those who are in need and have undergone a rigorous selection process. This is in response to allegations that the DSWD’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program is being used for political gain.

Secretary Gatchalian emphasized that their dedicated social workers are always ready to provide aid to those who qualify based on their current circumstances, as assessed by the department’s various offices. He also stated that the distribution of assistance is strictly limited to the guidelines and rules set by the government.

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cash aid is for vulnerable filipinos and verified only

What is the AICS Assistance?

AICS is Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation program provided by the DSWD, which aims to provide immediate relief and support to individuals and families who are facing difficult situations such as disasters, fire incidents, armed conflicts, and other unforeseen events. This is basically a form of financial aid which helps cover basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, medical services and transportation.

Among the variations under AICS include, educational aid, medical aid, burial/funeral aid, transportation aid, and other forms of aid in an emergency.

It is a form of immediate help to individuals or families and is targeted towards the indigent and vulnerable in society. But these applicants must also be verified by the DSWD through their reliable and efficient staff.

dswd media interview with secretary gatchalian
Image: DSWD Philippines

Allegations on Misuse of Aid Program

This response from DSWD Secretary comes amid allegations that the DSWD’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program is being misused in the signature-gathering campaign supporting Charter changes. The department, however, has categorically denied such claims, reiterating the stringent process involved in availing of the AICS.

Prospective beneficiaries are required to book an appointment for in-depth screening, where they must furnish all relevant documents for verification by the DSWD officers. Only post-verification will the beneficiaries be notified to collect the cash assistance. Contrary to some misconceptions, the DSWD clarified that mere recommendations or signing other documents do not qualify an individual for the program.

Reminder to Filipinos

Filipinos who avail of the said program are reminded that it is for the poorest of the poor. So to those who do not need it, may take the initiative to give way to those who are in dire straits. It is a moral responsibility of any government agency, whether it’s DSWD or other agencies, to ensure that assistance is given only to those in need.

The AICS program is just one of the many forms of aid provided by the government for indigent and vulnerable individuals and families. This is a testament to the government’s commitment to addressing poverty and providing support for those in crisis situations. Let us all do our part in ensuring that these programs reach those who truly need it, and let us continue to work towards a better and more inclusive society for all Filipinos.