MANILA – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Tuesday reported that it has distributed about PHP221.06 million to 98,092 beneficiaries under its Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program during the Bagong Pilipinas service caravan kickoff in four provinces over the weekend.
The 98,092 AICS beneficiaries were part of the 322,689 beneficiaries registered in the portal of the “Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo Fair” (BPSF) during the Sept. 23 to 24 simultaneous kickoffs in Ilocos Norte, Camarines Sur, Leyte and Davao de Oro.
In her report to DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian, Assistant Secretary Ada Colico of the Statutory Programs under Operations Group said Leyte posted the highest number of AICS clients with 48,018, followed by Ilocos Norte with 26,353; Camarines Sur with 12,264; and Davao de Oro with 11,457.
Of the total amount distributed, Leyte beneficiaries got PHP97.91 million; Ilocos Norte, PHP77.84 million; Camarines Sur, PHP24.53 million; and Davao de Oro, PHP20.78 million.
“The Bagong Pilipinas caravan is the country’s biggest service caravan aimed at providing major government services to less fortunate Filipinos in various communities across the country,” Gatchalian said in a statement.
He said the success of the BPSF’s launch on Saturday prompted organizers to extend some of the programs from the original two-day event, which attracted more than 300,000 beneficiaries nationwide.
The caravan launch also featured the “Kadiwa ng Pangulo,” which seeks to improve access to affordable food and other goods, “Passport on Wheels,” driver’s license registration and assistance, national identification, Pag-IBIG Fund, and National Bureau of Investigation and police clearance applications.
Gatchalian also reassured that the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. would bring the Bagong Pilipinas service caravan to all 82 provinces across the country after the resounding success of its launch.
In a separate statement Tuesday, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) chairperson Junie Cua said government programs, such as the BPSF, have a positive impact on Filipino communities.
“Dahil sa mga programang ganito na gobyerno mismo ang lumalapit sa mga tao, nabibigyan ng agarang solusyon ang mga problemang hinaharap ng mga kababayan natin (With programs such as this, wherein the government is the one approaching the people, the problems faced by our countrymen are given immediate solutions)," said Cua, who joined the President and other government officials during the service caravan's launch in Camarines Sur on Saturday.
The PCSO joined the caravan to inform Filipinos that they could also avail of the agency’s Medical Access Program, free medical and laboratory procedures, and other donations to local government units, public hospitals and government agencies that can be used to augment the medical needs of their constituencies.
"I am confident that this government has more programs in store for the people," Cua said. "We will continue working hard, under the flag of unity, to support the Marcos administration's commitment to promote the welfare of our countrymen."
Marcos earlier said the BPSF is only one of the first initiatives of his administration to give Filipinos hope for a new beginning by providing them with all the services in the comfort of their provinces.
“Magkakahiwalay man ang ating mga isla, pinagbubuklod-buklod naman tayo ng isang diwa at isang pangarap: isang Bagong Pilipinas para sa Bagong Pilipino (Our islands may be detached from one another but we are united by one spirit and one dream – a new Philippines for the new Filipino),” Marcos said in his speech during the BPSF’s launch in Nabua, Camarines Sur. (PNA)