DSWD to give P6.9 M to Legazpi folk

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Bicol has resumed the distribution of cash assistance under Assistance to Individuals to Crisis Situation (AICS) for economically displaced folk due to Covid-19 pandemic in Legazpi City.


There are 1,394 identified beneficiaries in Legazpi City who will receive P 5,000 each. The beneficiaries will also receive Family Food Packs (FFPs) per household.


The agency is set to distribute a total of P6,970,000 to beneficiaries in Legazpi City alone.


In accordance with Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) protocol for public gatherings, the agency has scheduled distribution of cash assistance and FFPs for three days to ensure observance of minimum health standards such as physical distancing and wearing of face masks and face shield.


The DSWD distributed the assistance to beneficiaries in Legazpi City on Feb. 5, 6, and 8. On Feb 5, some 281 beneficiaries received the aid, while some 600 beneficiaries got theirs on Feb. 6. The remaining 513 beneficiaries received the cash aid on Monday, Feb. 8.


According to Cristina Samson, Emergency Assistance Section-Crisis Intervention head, DSWD will also conduct AICS distribution in Pioduran, Albay on Feb. 8.


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. Their houses were totally damaged during the onslaught of TY Tisoy in 2019. Each EHAP beneficiary will receive P 5,000.00 as well.


Most beneficiaries identified by the Legazpi City Social Welfare and Development Office (LCSWDO) 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 served on Feb. 5 was 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 enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).


Like Loveranes, Jose Baile also experienced difficulty during the ECQ. Baile earns around P 200 per day as an eco-aide in their barangay. “Noong ECQ, nag-kokolekta pa rin ako ng basura. Minsan, P 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.


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 Jan. 28, 2021 in Sorsogon. During the distribution, there were 189 beneficiaries affected by Covid-19 who were served. Each beneficiary in Sorsogon received P 3,000.00. A total of P567,000 was distributed by the agency in the province.


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.