CASH AID. Senator Imee Marcos (3rd from left) on Friday (Dec. 8, 2022) leads the distribution of financial assistance under the assistance to individuals in crisis situation (AICS) program in Manaoag town, Pangasinan on Dec. 8. About 4,000 beneficiaries from four localities in the Ilocos Region received PHP3,000 each from the AICS program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. (PNA photo by Hilda Austria)

MANAOAG, Pangasinan – Some 4,000 indigent residents from four localities in the Ilocos Region have received PHP3,000 each under the assistance to individuals in crisis situation (AICS) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The beneficiaries were from Manaoag and San Fabian towns in Pangasinan and San Fernando City and Agoo town in La Union. Other beneficiaries were also chosen in Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur.

In an interview on Friday, Manaoag Mayor Jeremy Agerico Rosario said the beneficiaries totaling 1,000 in their town are farmers, garbage collectors or those working in the dumpsite, persons with disabilities, single parents, candle and parking boys at the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Rosary of Manaoag, tricycle drivers and those who have medical conditions.

“We are very much grateful to the national government through the initiative of Senator Imee Marcos. These people have really gone through a lot having been affected by the pandemic,” he said.

Rosario added the recipients were shortlisted and assessed by the DSWD Ilocos regional office.

“There will be more assistance from the national government for the residents of Manaoag. These are very much welcome as these would help our kababayans,” he said.

Concordia Liompo, one of the beneficiaries, was very grateful for the government assistance, saying the money is of great help in their daily expenses.

“Nagpapasalamat po kami sa tulong na ito. May ipanggagastos po kami sa bahay (We are so thankful for this assistance. We now have some money for the household),” she said.

Meanwhile, Marcos said the recipients are those truly in need, whose situation were further aggravated by the pandemic.

“Because of the pandemic everyone’s affected, there were not many tourists, for the drivers the gasoline prices are so high, even our farmers are affected, so this is just a small way to ease their situation for now,” she said in an interview during the ceremonial distribution on Thursday.

AICS serves as a social safety net or stop-gap measure to support the recovery of individuals and families suffering from unexpected life events or crises, the DSWD said. (PNA)