MANILA -- A total of PHP2,267,496,569.62 worth of assistance had been released from January to September this year to 613,046 individuals nationwide who went through a crisis, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reported Friday.

The assistance was extended through the department’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) and the Crisis Intervention Unit (CIU).

Recipients were those who faced shock or trauma that led to mental, psychological, and physical distress.

“If these individuals are unable to cope, they feel helpless and desperate. They should receive help from the government,” DSWD Officer in Charge, Undersecretary Emmanuel Leyco, said in a news release.

“Those in need of emergency assistance may seek help from the department through the AICS program, which serves as an immediate response or a social safety net to support the recovery of families and individuals from unexpected crisis, such as illness or death of a family member, natural and human-induced emergencies, and other critical incidents.”

Under AICS, the DSWD provides educational, medical, transportation and burial assistance to persons or families in crisis situations, especially those who are poor, marginalized, vulnerable, and disadvantaged.

Aside from financial assistance, they could also avail of counseling provided by social workers from local government units and DSWD field offices. (DSWD)