Luzon quake victims to receive emergency shelter assistance

Jervis Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 01 2022 06:08 PM

MANILA - Victims of the magnitude 7.0 earthquake last week in Luzon will receive emergency shelter assistance from the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, on top of the initial aid extended by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, an official said Monday.

In an interview with ABS-CBN News, DHSUD Assistant Secretary Avelino Tolentino III said that as of Monday, the agency has recorded 388 destroyed houses and more than 26,000 others partially damaged in Regions 1, 2, and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

Tolentino said they will be extending cash assistance to those whose houses sustained damage, but the amount, which may range from P5,000 to P30,000, is yet to be finalized.

He said the process is ongoing so they can distribute the cash aid as soon as possible.

"As early as the day after the quake, nag-convene na ang mga shelter clusters in Region 1, 2, and CAR. Ang marching order ni Secretary Jerry Acuzar, pag-aralan ang available resources at i-mobilize agad," said Tolentino.

The official said Acuzar hit the ground running after being appointed this weekend, even as the DHSUD had already committed to working closely with the DSWD in responding to the effects of the July 27 quake.

Tolentino said attached agency PAG-IBIG is also offering calamity loans to affected members to ease their burden in rebuilding their homes.

In the aftermath of Typhoon Odette late last year, the DHSUD also distributed P5,000 for every partially damaged house, and P10,000 for every destroyed house in Mindanao.

Meanwhile, Social Welfare Secretary Erwin Tulfo warned local government officials not to politicize the distribution of food and cash aid.

He said he has been receiving reports that some officials are withholding the aid to constituents.

"Panawagan ko nga kanina na kung maari, yung LGU, ibigay yang tulong na yan kasi wala naman kami sinabi na para kay ganito lang. Ibinaba namin 'yan kasi sa local government code, ang LGU ang first responder na magbibigay ng pagkain. We just made sure na nandiyan ang tulong namin," he said.

"Panawagan ko, ibigay nila sa tao kasi pwede sila makasuhan ng administratibo diyan eh," he added.

Tulfo said there will still be more family food packs coming. He assured that residents will be receiving aid until they have a semblance of normalcy in their lives.

The epicenter of the July 27 quake was in Abra, and it was felt in many parts of Luzon, including Metro Manila, and even in the Camarines provinces. Thousands of aftershocks have been felt since.

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