Duterte tells Odette survivors: Don't spend cash aid on liquor, cockfighting

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 30 2021 01:12 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte addresses victims of typhoon Odette at an evacuation center in Bais City, Negros Oriental on Dec. 29, 2021. Malacañang announced it would release up to P5,000 in cash assistance to all families affected by the typhoon. Rey Baniquet, Presidential Photo
President Rodrigo Duterte addresses victims of typhoon Odette at an evacuation center in Bais City, Negros Oriental on Dec. 29, 2021. Malacañang announced it would release up to P5,000 in cash assistance to all families affected by the typhoon. Rey Baniquet, Presidential Photo

MANILA— President Rodrigo Duterte this week urged survivors of typhoon Odette to refrain from using government's cash assistance on vices. 

Low-income residents of areas that were worst hit by Odette are entitled to P1,000 in cash aid from the national government. Up to 5 members of a family can get this assistance, said the interior department. 

Addressing typhoon survivors in Bais City, Negros Oriental, Duterte asked on Wednesday, "Have you received the P5,000 cash assistance? Not yet? Or have you spent it all?"

"That’s what usually happens if the husband spends the P5,000 on alcoholic beverages. And the wives, if they have nothing to do, they are like 'Marites' and keep on gossiping and playing poker," he said, as quoted in a transcript his office released on Thursday. 

Duterte said the ayuda "is intended for the family, especially the children."

"Don’t mess with me by using the money to purchase alcoholic drinks. If you do that, I’ll come back here for you and punch you. Yes, I will. If somebody reports to me that you spent your money on cockfighting, I won’t regard anybody as my friend. I will really come back for you," he added. 

The interior department said budget for the assistance was scheduled for download to local governments last Wednesday. 

Local authorities can start the distribution as soon as they receive the funds. They are required to post the name of beneficiaries on social media or in 3 conspicuous areas in a barangay, Interior Undersecretary Malaya said. 

Those who fail to get the aid may appeal through a grievance committee, said the official. 

He said the police and military were instructed to lend manpower if needed. The social welfare department, meanwhile, will provide technical assistance in the distribution, he added. 

Local governments are given 15 days to distribute the cash aid, though they could ask for an extension, Malaya said. 

Duterte during his visit to Negros Oriental also instructed the social welfare department to give typhoon victims trapal, family food packs, kitchenware such as pots, and financial assistance, said Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles. 

He said the President directed the health department to address the medical concerns of residents. 

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