Odette survivors to get cash aid starting Wednesday: DILG

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 05 2022 12:38 PM | Updated as of Jan 05 2022 01:31 PM

President Duterte visits victims of typhoon Odette at an evacuation center in Bais City, Negros Oriental on Dec. 29, 2021. Rey Baniquet, Presidential Photo
President Duterte visits victims of typhoon Odette at an evacuation center in Bais City, Negros Oriental on Dec. 29, 2021. Rey Baniquet, Presidential Photo

 

MANILA — Millions of low-income survivors of typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) will start receiving on Wednesday the cash aid meant to help them cope with the trail of destruction the calamity left in the southern and central Philippines, the interior department said. 

The P4.85-billion budget for the cash aid was released directly last Monday to the local governments of 420 towns and cities that were worst hit by Odette, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año told President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday. 

“Ito po ay ini-expect natin na magsimula ang distribution tomorrow po, January 5, once po matapos ng LGUs ang listahan po ng beneficiaries na sinimulan na nilang gawin bago pa man ma-release iyong pondo,” Año said during the taped meeting that aired on Wednesday. 

(We expect the distribution to start Jan. 5, once our LGUs complete the list of beneficiaries they stared drafting before the fund was released.) 

Up to five members of a family can get the P1,000 per person aid, the interior department earlier said.

It said local governments have 15 days to distribute the assistance upon receiving the budget.

Duterte, meanwhile, said authorities “still had to go to a ruckus [over] where to get the money.”

He previously said the COVID-19 crisis depleted last year's national budget and that he needed a report on the destruction before he could declare a state of calamity, which would allow local governments to tap calalmity funds. 

“Dapat talaga meron, that would be my advice to whoever is listening and sino ‘yong manalo, dapat may pondo ka talaga, money that’s cold cash, money na maiderekta ibigay sa kanila,” Duterte said during Tuesday's meeting, addressing whoever would succeed him this year. 

“Iba pa ‘yon, in addition to the, itong mga materials na dumadating sa kanila, iyong yero pati iyong lumber,” he added. 

(There should be, that would be my advice to whoever is listening and whoever wins, you should have funds, money that’s cold cash, money that you can directly give. This is different, in addition to the materials that arrive, the iron sheets and the lumber.) 

Odette hammered the Philippines in mid-December, affecting more than 4.8 million people, of whom, more than 400,000 were displaced, according to the national disaster agency.

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Video courtesy of PTV