By Dominic B. dela Cruz (Staff Reporter)

LAOAG CITY—The Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) distribution for the first district of Ilocos Norte is complete, Rep. Ria Cristina Fariñas (Ilocos Norte, 1st district) announced.

Of the 12 local government units (LGUs), including the Laoag City, and with a total of 285 Barangays and about 5,331 recipients received PHP2,000 each. In total, PHP10,926,000 were distributed.

Records show that the Laoag had the highest number of recipients for the AICS distribution with 1,455 barangay health workers (BHWs), barangay tanods, barangay nutrition scholars (BNS), barangay service point officers (BSPOs), and barangay day-care workers.

The lady legislator clarified that the AICS is part of the Dept. of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) “protective services for the poor, marginalized and vulnerable/disadvantaged individuals” contrary to what some people who said the distribution was “illegal”.

“Makapaluksaw appo ta imbes a kitaen da kuma dagiti pagsayaatan dagiti kakailian tayo ngem saan met ta iyun-una da met iti mangper-perdi, mangpul-pulitika ken mangul-ulaw kadagti tattao,” Fariñas stressed.

Fariñas also disclosed that it was the DSWD personnel who handed over the cash to recipients.

The Ilocos Times learned that Laoag and Sarrat were the last LGUs which received the AICS.

The congresswoman thanked all the local chief executives who allowed and accepted this program.

She added that she hopes the AICS will somehow help the recipients, especially their respective families.

Fariñas was the one who requested for the funding to assist barangay front line workers in this time of pandemic.

Meanwhile, the first district representative expressed her happiness in announcing that DSWD’s AICS program has distributed an estimated PHP30 million since she became the province’s first district representative in July 2019.

“Dagitoy appo dagitay kakailian tayo a nagkasapulan iti tulong medical, burial ken financial kadagiti naawanan iti panggedan gapu iti pandemya ken dadduma pay,” Fariñas posted in her social media page.

After the AICS distribution, Fariñas stated that her PHP18.7 million funding request for the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced (TUPAD) workers was also approved.

The said program requires recipients to work for eight days in their barangay for the PHP5,400 salary.

TUPAD program is a community-based package of assistance that provides emergency employment for displaced workers, underemployed and seasonal workers.