MANILA - More than 358,000 families in Central Visayas affected by typhoon Odette last year have yet to receive P5,000 cash aid, according to data from the Department of Social Welfare and Development-Region 7.
Of this number, nearly 200,000 or more than half are from Bohol, 141,462 are from Cebu, 12,939 are from Negros Oriental, and 4,156 are from Siquijor.
DSWD Central Visayas Director Shalaine Marie Lucero said Wednesday this is due to inadequate funds provided by the national government.
In the region, more than 497,000 families affected by typhoon Odette each received P5,000 cash aid under the DSWD’s Assistance for Individuals in Crisis Situations program.
"The funds of the government that were given to DSWD was not enough to pay the number of affected families. We found the UNICEF as a potential partner. They have extended a total of P32.3 million at P5,000 each to 6,476 families only in Bohol,” Lucero said during a hearing of the House Subcommittee on Disaster Rehabilitation and Recovery.
“There are 358,447 beneficiaries that have not been paid and that would require a total of P1.79 billion,” she told the panel.
Bohol 1st District Representative Edgar Chatto said the resolution he filed before the House of Representatives seeks to remind relevant national government agencies of this obligation.
“There is really a gap. The resolution intends to support efforts of the regional office to constantly remind the national central office of the DSWD and even the DBM that there is such a gap that needs to be filled up,” he said.
The Department of Budget and Management told the panel that it released a total of P2.9 billion to the DSWD for relief items, including P1.58 billion for emergency shelter assistance to families affected by typhoon Odette.
Surigao del Norte 1st District Representative Bingo Matugas, meanwhile, questioned the slow processing of requests for rehabilitation aid in some areas affected by typhoon Odette.
“It’s been almost a year, ‘yung mga na-asssess na damages, and those promised budget for the repair especially for priority areas, hindi pa po dumating until now. In fact, I just received another instruction from OCD (Office of Civil Defense) a while ago to submit again, I don’t know if this is the nth time already, to submit documents regarding the damages in my district,” he said.
The Department of Public Works and Highways explained that there were several requests and that the agency is coordinating with the Office of Civil Defense regarding funds to accommodate these requests. The agency is currently monitoring the implementation of rehabilitation projects in areas affected by typhoon Odette, worth P3.9 billion.
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