DSWD AICS Program: Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations

The Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS) program, a vital initiative of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the Philippines, is dedicated to offering essential support to Filipinos grappling with a range of crises. From natural disasters like typhoons, floods, and earthquakes, to human-caused emergencies such as fires, armed conflicts, displacement, and evacuations, the program can be relied upon to offer timely and comprehensive help. It also addresses personal hardships, including medical emergencies, familial bereavement, loss of livelihood, and extreme poverty.

DSWD AICS beneficiaries
Credits: ECPAT Philippines / Facebook


The AICS Program provides a variety of benefits to Filipinos facing various crises, including natural disasters, human-caused emergencies, and personal hardships. Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Financial assistance: This program provides cash grants to help families meet their basic needs for food, shelter, clothing, and other necessities during a crisis. This immediate financial support can be crucial in preventing further hardship and helping families get back on their feet.
  • Food assistance: It also provides emergency food packs or meals to families affected by a crisis. This ensures that they have access to essential nutrition during a difficult time.
  • Medical assistance: The DSWD, through this program, can help cover the costs of hospitalization, medication, and medical procedures for those facing a medical emergency. This can be a lifesaver for families who cannot afford to pay for medical care on their own.
  • Educational assistance: The program can provide scholarships or financial aid to students whose education is disrupted by a crisis. This ensures that their education can continue, even in the face of challenges.
  • Funeral assistance: It also provides financial aid to cover funeral expenses for families who have lost a loved one. This can help ease the financial burden and allow families to focus on grieving.
  • Transportation assistance: The program can provide financial support for transportation costs incurred by families during a crisis. This may include evacuation costs, travel to medical facilities, or transportation to return home after displacement.
  • Cash assistance or other support service: In addition to the specific types of support mentioned above, the program can also provide other forms of cash aid or support services tailored to the individual needs of each crisis situation including but are not limited to:
    • Help for repairs or construction of damaged homes
    • Livelihood support for those who have lost their income
    • Legal aid
    • Counseling and psychosocial support


Eligibility / Qualifications

Eligibility for this DSWD program in the Philippines is determined based on a “state of active crisis” or “crisis situation”, assessed by a DSWD Social Worker. While income status doesn’t define eligibility, being indigent can be a factor considered alongside the following criteria:

General Eligibility

  • Filipino citizen or legal resident: Anyone permanently residing in the Philippines, documented or undocumented, are eligible for the program.
  • Facing a crisis situation: This broad category encompasses various circumstances, including:
    • Natural disasters (typhoons, floods, earthquakes)
    • Human-caused emergencies (fire, armed conflict, displacement)
    • Personal hardships (medical emergencies, death in the family, loss of livelihood)
    • Extreme poverty leading to food insecurity or lack of shelter
  • Requires immediate and temporary help: The DSWD focuses on providing short-term support during the crisis period.

Additional factors considered

  • Vulnerability: Children, older adults, persons with disabilities, pregnant women, and lactating mothers are considered more vulnerable and prioritized for support.
  • Availability of other support: If an individual or family can receive help from their LGU or other sources, program coverage may not be provided.
  • Capacity to utilize aid: The applicant should be able to understand and use the support provided.



  • Valid ID: You must present a valid government-issued ID, such as a Philippine passport, driver’s license, SSS ID, or PhilHealth ID.
  • Barangay Certification: A barangay certification is required to verify your residency and the crisis situation you are facing.
  • Social Case Study Report: A social worker will conduct a home visit and prepare a report assessing your needs and eligibility for support.
  • Additional documents: Depending on the type of aid you are applying for, you may need to submit additional documents such as medical records, hospital bills, death certificates, or school enrollment forms.

Step by Step Guide on How to Apply for DSWD AICS Program

The DSWD AICS program provides crucial support to Filipinos facing various crisis situations. Here’s a step-by-step guide on applying for the program:

Step 1: Visit your nearest DSWD office or Malasakit Center.

Step 2: Undergo screening.

  • A DSWD personnel will assess your situation and determine if you meet the eligibility criteria for such services.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about the nature of your crisis and your need for support.

Step 3: Submit required documents.

  • The required documents may vary depending on your specific situation and the type of support you are applying for.
  • Generally, you will need to provide:
    • A valid ID (government-issued)
    • Proof of residency (barangay certificate, utility bill)
    • Proof of income or livelihood (if applicable)
    • Documentation related to your crisis situation (e.g., medical certificate, police report)
  • You can find a complete list of required documents on the DSWD AICS website.

Step 4: Interview and assessment.

  • A DSWD social worker will conduct a more in-depth interview to understand your situation and needs better.
  • They will also assess your eligibility for specific types of support.

Step 5: Decision and notification.

  • The DSWD will review your application and make a decision on whether to grant you aid.
  • You will be notified of the decision through your preferred contact method (e.g., phone call, text message).

Step 6: Receive the help you need.

  • If your application is approved, you will receive the service you are entitled to.
  • This may be in the form of cash grants, food packs, medical aid, or other types of support.

Additional Tips:

  1. Be patient and cooperative throughout the application process.
  2. Gather all required documents beforehand to avoid delays.
  3. Be honest and accurate in your answers during the interview.
  4. Ask questions if you are unsure about anything.

Remember, this DSWD program is available to help Filipinos in need during difficult times. Don’t hesitate to seek help if you are facing a crisis situation.

Video: AICS – Educational Assistance to Mark Philip Lapinig

Mark Philip L. Lapinig, a resident of Suntor, Tanauan City, Batangas, stands as a testament to the transformative impact of the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS) – Educational Assistance program, facilitated by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Raised by a single mother earning a modest income through various side jobs, Mark has been an active participant in his family’s financial stability, contributing through the sale of his artwork.

His gratitude towards the program is profound, as it has significantly eased the burden of acquiring essential school supplies such as uniforms, bags, and other materials, in addition to covering transportation costs, especially crucial now with the resumption of face-to-face classes. Mark’s story is not just one of individual achievement but also highlights the improved accessibility and efficiency of DSWD services, making it easier for beneficiaries like him to seek and receive support in times of need.


The AICS project is centered around the idea of providing swift, temporary assistance to those facing emergencies or crises. It is designed to provide immediate support to help individuals and families overcome their current situation and regain stability. So if you or someone you know is experiencing a medical emergency, death in the family, loss of livelihood, extreme poverty, or any other crisis situation, don’t hesitate to reach out to the DSWD

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