BUTUAN CITY – Thousands of residents in Caraga and in other regions in Mindanao received various forms of assistance since the start of the lockdowns to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), the Department of Social Welfare and Development-Caraga (DSWD-13) announced on Tuesday.
DSWD-13 said that a total of 16,700 individuals have been served during the period, especially families below the poverty line, under the agency’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS).
“A total amount of PHP62,789,175.27 has been given to individuals through the AICS. The clients were provided with at least two types of assistance through the program, such as financial, advice-giving, referrals, hot meals, and food packs,” DSWD-13 said in a statement.
At least 7,711 individuals were served in the province of Agusan del Norte, 1,670 in Agusan del Sur, 2,423 in Surigao del Norte, 4,255 in Surigao del Sur, 497 in the Province of Dinagat Islands, and 144 in other regions, the agency said.
Aside from their material needs during the pandemic, the clients were also provided with psycho-social services for their emotional and psychological needs, DSWD-13 added.
“Referrals to other agencies were also facilitated in case the agency cannot provide the required services requested by the clients,” it said.
Amid the pandemic, the agency said the most common request for aid is for financial support in their problems concerning medical bills, the lack of educational funds, burial financial assistance, food aid, and travel allowance for the stranded individuals.
“Despite the threats of the Covid-19 pandemic, the DSWD Field Office in Caraga is still doing its best to provide for the needs of clients who visit the office and the various satellite offices to avail of the program,” the agency said.
DSWD-13 also reminded the public to follow strict health protocols like wearing face masks, face shields, and following safe physical distancing when availing its programs. (PNA)