The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on first reading a proposed ordinance providing for the revised guidelines for the implementation of the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) in the city and amending in its entirety Ordinance No. 16, series of 2019.
Under the proposed ordinance authored by Councilor Elmer Datuin, the revision of the guidelines is geared towards strengthening the implementation of AICS under the protective services program and to be consistent with the pertinent provisions of Republic Act (RA) 11032, otherwise known as the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.
The ordinance also aims to provide guidelines on the provision of AICS and interventions to aid in the recovery of the poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals and families in crisis situation or difficult circumstances; provide guidance on the use of funds to support the implementation of the program and harmonize all existing policies related to AICS and streamline the processes to comply with RA 11032.
Among the general policies in the provision of financial and material assistance to clients shall be based on the assessment and the recommendation of the social workers, duly approved by the authorized officials; the eligibility of clients to receive the needed services shall be established through interviews, home visits, and submission of necessary documents which are indicated in the implementing procedures; the maximum amount to be provided shall be based on the parameter indicated in the guidelines which shall be reviewed periodically; partnerships with stakeholders such as hospitals, drugs stores or pharmacies, transport companies, funeral parlors and other service providers shall be established by the local government to ensure that referred clients are able to receive the needed services immediately and in no case shall the implementation of AICS be delegated or transferred to any accredited non-government organizations or peoples organizations.
The ordinance asserted that the AICS must be implemented by the social workers of the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) to ensure the appropriate disbursement of the funds earmarked for the said purpose.
According to the ordinance, the services under AICs include financial and material assistance, transportation assistance, financial assistance, burial assistance, educational assistance, food assistance and cash assistance for other support services; psychological intervention and referral for other services.
The project implementation unit shall submit a monthly and quarterly report indicating the physical and financial data or information and a quarterly narrative analysis on the status of implementation. The same shall be submitted to the CSWDO every 10th day of the succeeding month.
The CSWDO shall prepare a consolidated physical and financial report for submission to the City Mayor’s Office.
Semestral evaluation shall be undertaken to track the status of the implementation of the program and an annual program evaluation and planning workshop shall be held every November to guide the targeting for the succeeding year.