TIMELY GIFT. Senator Imee Marcos (center) joins the distribution of PHP3,000 cash each to 3,000 beneficiaries at Lamberto Macias Sports Center in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental on Sunday (Nov. 20, 2022). The aid is under the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. (PNA photo by Judy Flores Partlow)

DUMAGUETE CITY – A total of PHP9 million in cash aid reached 3,000 beneficiaries in Negros Oriental on Sunday under the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (DSWD-AICS).

Senator Imee Marcos, who led the distribution, told the crowd at Lamberto Macias Sports Center here that the assistance will somehow help them deal with the rising cost of rice, vegetables and other basic goods.

“The last three years were so difficult due to the Covid-19 pandemic and many stayed at home, afraid to catch the disease, while others also lost their jobs and income,” she said in Visayan.

She added that her brother, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., wants to continue giving ayuda (assistance) directly to the beneficiaries.

Each beneficiary received PHP3,000, including farmers, fisherfolk, senior citizens, solo parents, and persons with disabilities from Tayasan, Pamplona, Ayungon, Bindoy, San Jose, Sibulan, Dauin, and Siaton towns, as validated by local DSWD officers.

In an interview with the media, the senator said she looks forward to participating in more AICS distribution in the province.

“I’m hopeful that we can also cover the other towns in the next few months,” she said, as she has been going around the country in recent days for the DSWD assistance.

Governor Roel Degamo said the AICS distribution will be province-wide.

The AICS is a social safety net or a stop-gap mechanism to support the recovery of individuals and families from unexpected crises such as illness or death of a family member, calamities and other crisis situations.

The DSWD also has action centers to immediately respond to crisis cases, providing immediate rescue and protection, provision of financial and material assistance, augmentation during disaster, and referrals for immediate medical, legal and psycho-social services. (PNA)