COTABATO CITY — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office No. XII (DSWD FO XII) has extended help Saturday to families displaced by the recent fire in this city.

Cezario Joel Espejo, DSWD-12 regional director, said the agency, through the effort and in partnership with the Office of the President and Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, provided financial aid P3,000 and family food pack to each 17 families who lost their homes during the fire incident on October 8. Affected families are currently staying with their relatives.

“Apart from immediate assistance, we will continuously coordinate and work with local officials of Cotabato City to cover further needs,” Dir. Espejo said.

Annabelle Briones, 51, one of the aid recipients, thanked the government for the immediate assistance extended by the DSWD. 

“The financial support and food pack will help us sustain in the next few weeks,” said Briones, who was trying to salvage some basic things from their home damaged by the fire.

The assistance was part of the agency’s support to individuals in crisis situations (AICS), 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. 

Aside from financial and food assistance, the agency also provides medical, educational, burial, and transportation assistance under AICS, specifically those belonging to the informal sector and other poor, marginalized, vulnerable, and disadvantaged individuals. (JBM / DSWD)