Photo Release

April 23, 2024

On psycho-social assistance under AICS program: Sen. Imee Marcos presides over the Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development hearing Tuesday, April 23, 2024 on Senate Bill Numbers (SBNs) 1821, 2023 and 2328 which seek to institutionalize Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program. Marcos grilled representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development on the components of the AICS program being rendered by the agency, noting that food assistance to qualified beneficiaries accounts for 28.9 percent of the program while the so-called “psycho-social” assistance accounts for 28.8 percent. Edwin Morata, OIC Division Chief of Program Management Bureau-Crisis Intervention Division of the DSWD, told Marcos that psycho-social assistance is in the form of counselling sessions and referrals to social workers and could not be quantified. “So the 28.8 percent, you quantified it. You say it can’t be quantified but you quantified it as part of your accomplishment report,” Marcos told the official. Morata explained that the percentage referred to the number of beneficiaries and has no monetary value. The measures seek to establish AICS program, which would involve making the program a permanent and ongoing part of the government’s social welfare and protection efforts. The proposals also ensure that individuals and families affected by crisis situations, such as natural disasters, economic hardships, or health emergencies, have access to the support and resources they need to recover and rebuild their lives. (Bibo Nueva España/Senate PRIB)