DBM approves release of P3B for DSWD aid program
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said on Monday that it has approved the release of P3 billion to augment the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) budget for its financial aid program.
According to Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman, the additional funding for the DSWD’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program was sourced from the unprogrammed appropriations under the special provision of this year’s national budget
“In adherence with President [Marcos’] directive, we will continue to strengthen social protection measures for our citizens, especially the marginalized and vulnerable sectors,” Pangandaman said in a statement. “We recognize the importance of this program to those in need of financial assistance.”
As stated by the special provision, the DBM said that a “substantial amount shall be used to support infrastructure projects and social programs, including financial assistance to indigent individuals or families.”
Under the AICS program, indigents may seek monetary aid from the DSWD to cover their medical, transportation, education, burial and other emergency expenses.
‘Lifesaver for families’
Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara, the Senate finance committee chair, earlier filed a measure seeking to institutionalize the DSWD’s financial aid program, noting how it had benefited thousands of poor Filipinos at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said making the program permanent would help provide a system that would be “financially and administratively capable of responding to the needs of Filipinos when dealing with an extreme circumstance.”
“Since its inception, the AICS [program] of the DSWD has been a lifesaver for many families undergoing difficult challenges and as such, this program should be institutionalized to ensure it is always there for those in dire need of assistance,” Angara stressed.
“With such meager wages, [poor] families end up spending beyond their means and as a result, they are pushed further into poverty. The situation becomes even worse for them when they are faced with emergencies and calamities that are beyond their control,” he added.