FAST DELIVERY OF ASSISTANCE. Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Erwin Tulfo has ordered to update the agency's existing guidelines to come up with faster way to deliver its assistance. Earlier, President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. underscored the importance of urgency in delivering aid to individuals in crisis situations. (PNA file photo) 

MANILA – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has been working on refining its guidelines on social welfare programs to immediately provide assistance to individuals in crisis.

"Pinaiklian po namin iyong form namin, sir, kasi nabanggit ni Pangulong (Ferdinand) Marcos (Jr.) noon sa Abra, ang dami po… medyo mahaba po iyong form. Nasa krisis na nga Secretary, ang dami pa nilang tatanungin (We have shortened the application form for our services. When we were in Abra, President Marcos noticed that it was lengthy and there were many questions. He said, they are already in crisis Secretary, and we are asking them too many)," DSWD Secretary Erwin Tulfo said on Friday's Laging Handa press briefer.

The DSWD has updated its 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.

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.

The circular also notes that the application can be completed in only three steps and the grants below PHP10,000 can be released on the day of the application. Furthermore, assistance above PHP10,000, especially medical and funeral, may be released through a guarantee letter, unless other modes are necessary as may be justified by the Social Worker.

Along with this, Tulfo also ordered to hasten the implementation of Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) for families affected by the onslaught of Typhoon Odette that hit Visayas and Mindanao regions in December 2021.

This, after the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) granted the DSWD’s request for a special allotment amounting to over PHP1.5 billion for the repair of 153,410 totally damaged houses in Regions VI, VIII, X, CARAGA, MIMAROPA, and VII shall be covered under the Emergency Housing Assistance Program (EHAP) of the National Housing Authority (NHA).

"Through the ESA, the DSWD will provide financial assistance worth PHP10,000 to augment resources of the target affected families to purchase construction materials in repairing their damaged houses," the DSWD explained in a statement.

Under the directive of the DSWD Secretary, the guidelines are now being prepared to guarantee the efficient and effective implementation of the ESA.

In addition, concerned DSWD Field Offices were also directed to coordinate with affected local government units to determine the rightful beneficiaries of the program and ensure that their documentary requirements are complete. (PNA)