Agusan del Sur – The Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT) staff of the province of Agusan del Sur introduced the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) to the community and public and private hospitals in Agusan del Sur.

They conducted a room-to-room counseling with the patients in Agusan del Sur hospitals in order to introduce the AICS program to people who needs medical assistance on April 24-25, 2014.

Mrs. Siong a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary from barangay Fili, Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur was one of the patients who was admitted in New Bayugan Medical Hospital for a week due to unexplained weakness and loss of appetite. The doctor advised her to stay in the hospital while she was still recovering from her health condition and so that she will be given proper medication.

Afraid that she might not be able to pay the bill because she’s been in the hospital for already a week, Mrs. Siong insisted to go home despite the fact that she is still weak.

When Mrs. Siong received her hospital bill she was surprised upon seeing her standing balance amounting to 7,000.00 that needs to be settled though some of the amount has already been deducted through her Philhealth. As much as she wanted to go home that day, the money that she has is not enough to fully pay the remaining hospital bill.

It was then when a group of MCCT staff visited Mrs. Siong and introduced to her the AICS. She was elated knowing that additional help is right before her. She received outright cash assistance for her medical needs after being assessed by the social worker. Outright cash assistance is only limited not more than 3,000.00.

The AICS implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through the Crisis Intervention Unit (CIU) is part of the DSWD’s protective services for the poor, marginalized and vulnerable/disadvantage individuals. It has been implemented by DSWD for decades, as part of its technical assistance and resource augmentation support to LGU and other partners.

The assistance provided by AICS may be in the form of transportation assistance, medical assistance, burial assistance, food and non-food assistance and educational assistance.

The type, kind, and amount of assistance to be provided to the clients/beneficiaries will be based on the assessment and recommendation of DSWD’s social workers or other authorized personnel and an appropriate documentation shall support all disbursements of funds based on the social case study report for the client/beneficiary.

A client can avail of the assistance only within 3 months. Availment of assistance beyond this limit must be supported by a justification based on the special need of the client/beneficiary per assessment of the social worker and is subject for the approval of the Regional Director of DSWD.

DSWD also clarified that DSWD assistance amounting to not more than 3,000.00 may be released to the client/beneficiary immediately, but assistance amounting to more than 3,000.00 will still be extended to clients through issuance of guarantee letter to the service providers such as transport companies, medical institutions, pharmacies and funeral services. ### (Stella Maris Barlisan/ Social Marketing Unit/ DSWD Caraga)

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