A social worker assists a client inside Crisis Intervention Satellite Office in Koronadal City Friday, March 27, 2020. (Photo by JBM / DSWD)

KORONADAL CITY — Frontliner social workers have stepped up the delivery of basic social services to most affected individuals in Central Mindanao amid the threat of being infected by the new coronavirus.

Workers of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through its Crisis Intervention Unit, in charge in the delivery of services under Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS), have been directed by the Central Office to respond and assist clients in need of immediate government assistance as the region was placed under expanded community quarantine to prevent the spread of outbreak.

Among the partner beneficiaries that was able to avail government support was Noel Llabar, 47, a dialysis patient since 2015, who personally expressed his outmost gratitude after his request for financial assistance was granted in less than ten minutes. 

“With business, work, and transportation shut down because of virus outbreak, it’s difficult for us to look for ways to sustain my weekly dialysis session. At least we can rely with DSWD,” Llabar said in Filipino after obtaining his guarantee letter for the hospital where he will schedule his dialysis next week.

Noel Llabar, a 47-year-old dialysis patient, is seen availing assistance at DSWD’s Crisis Intervention Office in Koronadal City, South Cotabato Friday, March 27, 2020. (Photo by JBM / DSWD)

AICS is a program that serves as a social safety net or a stop-gap measure to support the recovery of individuals and families suffering from unexpected life events or crisis. 

The agency, under AICS, provides medical, educational, burial, and transportation assistance to persons in crisis situations, specifically those belonging to the informal sector and other poor, marginalized, vulnerable, and disadvantaged individuals.

According to Cezario Joel Espejo, DSWSD-12 regional director, the agency has enough buffer funds this year for AICS in Surallah, South Cotabato; and the cities of Koronadal, General Santos, Tacurong and Kidapawan.

The director explained beneficiaries will receive financial assistance or referral/guarantee letters from the agency which beneficiaries will take to drugstores, hospital, funeral homes and other service providers accredited by the Department.

“Residents can proceed in the nearest Crisis Intervention Satellite Offices in their respective areas for assistance. If they have all the necessary documents, our assigned social workers will assess their condition before granting their request for assistance,” Dir. Espejo said.

The director also reiterated his appeal to partner beneficiaries to strictly observe social distancing protocol while inside the CIU satellite offices. (JBM / DSWD)