As of Tuesday, July 29, locally stranded individuals (LSIs) can now apply for financial assistance through the Cebu City government’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program.
The AICS program is part of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) protective services for poor, marginalized, and vulnerable/disadvantaged individuals. (READ: ‘Walang malapitan’: Stranded ‘probinsyanos’ feel abandoned by Duterte gov’t)
The said program has been implemented for decades as part of the department’s technical assistance and resource augmentation support for local government units (LGUs) and other partners.
A maximum of P5,000 per person will be provided by the city government for LSIs.
According to an infographic posted by Cebu City Public Information Office’s social media page, the financial assistance may only be availed of once and will cover the stranded local’s land, sea, and air travel.
Going just outside Cebu City? P1,000 to P1,500 will be provided for travel from Cebu City to the northern or southern part of Cebu province. For travel to any part of Visayas, the allotted amount ranges from P1,500 to P3,000. As for travel to Luzon or Mindanao, the amount is from P3,000 to P5,000.
The amount provided is still subject to the assessment of Cebu City’s Department of Social Welfare Services (DSWS).
To apply for assistance, 3 important documents are required. LSIs must have a government-issued ID, a PNP-issued Travel Authority, and a Barangay Certificate stating where the LSI resides.
Before visiting the DSWS office in Barangay Labangon, applicants must send the requirements in PDF to email@example.com and wait for an email confirming their scheduled application interview.
Applicants must then go to the Labangon office, across Labangon Elementary School, on the scheduled date and time of the interview.
After the assessment, qualified LSIs may claim the financial assistance on the release date, which they will be informed of through email.
Qualified applicants scheduled for an interview may also request through the same email for transportation to the DSWS office. Designated pick-up/drop-off is at the barangay hall where they currently are.
To know more about the financial assistance, LSIs may contact DSWS through +63 931 023 0157 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a Facebook post, Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella assures the public that the city government is prepared and capable of helping LSIs return home to their provinces.
Despite the efforts of the LGU to help LSIs, however, there are still complaints from stranded citizens with respect to the lengthy processing of papers and lack of available documents and resources.
Labella said, “We understand the difficult plight of locally stranded individuals in Cebu City. Rest assured that we are doing our best to get you home as soon as possible.”
Currently, LSI forms have been made available online and can be accessed through Labella’s automated reply system on Facebook Messenger.
As of this writing, Cebu City is coordinating with the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF) over its request to let stranded locals travel back to their hometowns. – Rappler.com