DSWD notes influx of indigents seeking aid, extends operations

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As the lead agency in social protection, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) places emphasis in ensuring that indigent and vulnerable individuals are provided with the necessary assistance to help them cope during crisis situations.

Through its Protective Services Program, the DSWD offers various types of assistance to those in need which include the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS).

Under AICS, the DSWD provides medical, educational, burial and transportation assistance to persons/families in crisis situations, specifically those belonging to the informal sector and other poor, marginalized, vulnerable, and disadvantaged individuals.

Applicants for AICS may proceed to the Crisis Intervention Unit of the DSWD Central Office, DSWD Field Offices in their respective areas, or satellite offices located at the local government unit.

Given the huge bulk of clients seeking assistance from its CIUs, the DSWD is encouraging everyone to follow the step-by-step process in availing of assistance as follows:

  • Issuance of queue numbers and pre-screening of documents– During the pre-screening, clients should bring the complete supporting documents for the assistance being requested.  This takes about five minutes.
  • Review and approval of the Officer In-Charge to the Social Worker’s recommendation for  the assistance being requested by the client– This involves the submission of supporting documents and duly accomplished Certificate of Eligibility. This takes about 10 minutes.
  • Registration and encoding in the Crisis Intervention Monitoring System (CrIMS), an online database system for CIU clients– Basic information of the client is put in the system. CIU also verifies if assistance has already been provided to clients. This takes about five minutes.
  • Interview, assessment, and recommendation of assistance needed– This involves the submission of supporting documents for the assistance being requested and filling-up of the General Intake Sheet (GIS) form. There will also be a thorough interview, as basis of assessment and recommendation of assistance. This takes about 20 minutes.
  • Release of Assistance

Release of Cash outright assistance (P5,000 and below) takes about ten minutes

Issuance of Guarantee Letter addressed to Service Provider (P5,000 and below) and/or Referral Letter takes about five minutes

Release of Check Assistance (more than P5,000) takes three to five days

Issuance of Guarantee Letter addressed to Service Provider (more than P5,000) within the day or up to three days

The ideal processing time is 50 minutes maximum per client exclusive of the waiting/queueing time, except for the Issuance of Guarantee Letter addressed to Service Provider (more than P5,000) which can be provided within the day or up to three days, and Release of Check (more than P5,000) which will be provided within three to five days.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said that this process flow ensures the fast, smooth, and organized processing of the assistance needed by the clients.

The CIU at the DSWD Central Office, IBP Road, Batasan Hills, Quezon City is open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM without noon break, from Monday to Friday.

“The CIU can only receive new clients until 5 p.m. However, disbursement of assistance will continue until 8 p.m.,” Sec. Soliman added.

The Secretary explained that those who will not make it to the 8 p.m. cutoff will be prioritized the next working day.

For the past 2 weeks, the CIU has been serving an increased number of clients ranging from 600 to 1,200 clients a day, extending its operation from 7:00 AM until past midnight or until all clients are served. With the influx of clients seeking assistance, the entire processing time of assistance is lengthened up to an average of 5 hours including waiting time in their queue, from the time client was screened until the assistance is released.

The CIU still maintained its express/priority lanes for older persons, persons with disabilities, and lactating mothers. The CIU discourages clients from bringing infants and/or young kids because they may find the waiting period stressful.

Along the operation of the Crisis Intervention Unit, the following common problems were encountered:

  1. Incomplete, lacking and outdated documents submitted by the clients (e.g. no Brgy. Certificate, Medical Certificate with no signature of the doctor or not bearing its license number, unsigned hospital bill/ laboratory request/ enrollment assessment form/ funeral contract, unregistered death certificate, and the likes)
  2. Long waiting/ queuing time, leaving some of the clients and their companion restless.
  3. Fraudulent documents submitted by the clients.

For the speedy facilitation of particular types of assistance, the DSWD is requesting clients to bring the following:

For Medical Assistance

  • Clinical Abstract/Medical Certificate with signature and license number of the attending physician (issued not later than 3 months)
  • Hospital Bill (for payment of hospital bill) or Prescription (for medicines) or Laboratory requests (for procedures)
  • Barangay Certificate of Residency/Indigency and any valid ID of the client

For Educational Assistance

  • Enrolment assessment form or certificate of enrolment/registration
  • School ID of the student/beneficiary
  • Barangay Certificate of Residency/Indigency and any valid ID of the client
  •     Any valid ID of the client

For Burial Assistance

  • Funeral Contract
  • Death Certificate of the deceased
  • Barangay Certificate of Residency/Indigency and any valid ID of the client
  • Permit to transfer/Health permit (for transfer of cadaver)

For Transportation Assistance

  • Barangay Certificate of Residency/Indigency and any valid ID of the client
  • Police Blotter (for victims of pick pockets, illegal recruitment, etc.)

A social case study report prepared by the LGU social worker/medical social worker, or a social case summary prepared by a registered social worker may be required by the CIU social worker to support assessment and recommendation of assistance.

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