5.62% of target beneficiaries have received ECQ cash aid

Distribution of the special Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) at the Igbaras Covered Gym in Igbaras, Iloilo. (DSWD-6 photo)

By Jennifer P. Rendon

Around 5.62 percent of the target beneficiaries in areas under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the city and province of Iloilo have received their cash aid.

As of 12 pm of August 5, 2021, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-6 said 48,865 individuals or families have received the special Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS).

May Rago-Castillo, DSWD-6 public information officer, said P149.6 million was already released by different LGUs under ECQ.

Maasin posted the highest number of families who received the cash aid with 10,047 or 86.56 percent of the target beneficiaries. The local government released P32.145 million.

Anilao released aid amounting to P24.599 million to 7,703 families or 75.03 percent of the target beneficiaries.

Mina was able to give assistance to 6,758 families or 70.81 percent of their target. It released P20.018 million.

Other towns that released the aid were:

* Barotac Nuevo         – P2.954 million (4.52%)

* Bingawan                 – P5.258 million (30.03%)

* Cabatuan                  – P3.666 million (5.57%)

* Calinog                     – P4.132 million (7.30%)

* Dingle                    – P9.021 million (16.91%)

* Guimbal                   – P5.693 million (14.73%)

* Iloilo City                 – P4.489 million (0.97%)

* Leon                      – P9.729 million (17.49%)

* New Lucena             – P3.504 million (14.81%)

* Oton                      – P7.454 million (7.16%)

* Pototan                 – P6.371 million (7.49%)

* San Joaquin              – P6.262 million (11.87%)

* Tubungan              – P4.387 million (5.62%)


The payout of the special AICS started Saturday last week.

“We are glad that the local government units have responded with vigor and immediately started the payout. The people need the money to buy food. We have to act quickly,” DSWD-6 regional director Ma. Evelyn Macapobre said.

Again, the DSWD-6 reiterated that the LGU that would determine beneficiaries based on the established guidelines stipulated in Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 2, Series of 2021.

The JMC was crafted by DSWD along with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Department of National Defense (DND).

DSWD’s AICS program is the provision of integrated services to individuals and families in crisis or difficult situation.

Castillo said the JMC No. 2 sets the implementing guidelines for the distribution of financial assistance to LGUs under ECQ.

Based on the guidelines, priority target beneficiaries of the special AICS are affected individuals and families who are suffering from the economic disruption brought about by the declaration of a localized ECQ in their area.

The target beneficiaries may include families who were previous recipients of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) under Bayanihan 1 and additional beneficiaries of emergency subsidy under Bayanihan 2; individuals belonging to vulnerable groups, such as individuals living alone, senior citizens or Persons with Disability (PWD); and others who have been stranded by reason of employment in the province, city, or municipality under ECQ.

The JMC emphasized that the target beneficiaries, at the time of the declaration of the ECQ, must be physically residing, either temporarily or permanently, or who are still in the ECQ areas.

Compared to the government’s social amelioration program (SAP), AICS is more inclusive.

“As long as your means of livelihood is affected, you should be included,” Castillo said.

To avoid bogus beneficiaries, the LGUs are expected to post on their official websites, social media accounts, and at conspicuous places in the concerned barangays the list of approved beneficiaries, prior to actual distribution.

Based on the JMC, LGUs will create their own Grievance and Appeals Committee to receive and address complaints or grievances.

“Through the grievance and appeals desk, those individuals who will appeal for inclusion could be added to the list of beneficiaries,” she said.

DSWD-6 confirmed that 665,561 families are targeted to be covered for a P2.6 billion stimulus package in the city and province of Iloilo, which has reverted to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) status since July 16 until August 7.