Philippines

DSWD’s assistance to survivors of ‘Yolanda’

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On the third anniversary of Supertyphoon Yolanda on November 8, 2016, Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte ordered the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to release P5,000 to affected households in Regions VI, VII, and VIII who have not received a single centavo or any other form of assistance from the government when the typhoon struck in 2013. Operationally, this refers to households that did not receive funds from the DSWD’s Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) program.

The DSWD immediately implemented a validation process among residents in the said regions for the 5KPFA (Presidential Financial Assistance), and by May 2017, began the distribution of the same. A total of 196,258 households with damaged houses were targeted for the assistance.

By July 2017, the DSWD completed its validation process. Of the total targeted 196,258 households, 122, 154 households or 62 percent were found to be eligible to receive the 5KPFA.

Status of Distribution

As to date, 60,078 household beneficiaries out of the 62,671 target for LBP-CC release has already received the 5KPFA which covers Region VI (52,644), NIR (4,228) and Region VIII (3,206);

As stated in the Implementing Rules and Regulation on the disbursement of the LBP Cash Cards, If the beneficiary fails to claim the Cash Card on the scheduled date of distribution, the DSWD Field Offices and the beneficiary is given thirty (30) calendar days to claim the cash card from the distribution date.

NIR submitted a report on 476 unclaimed cash cards which were considered cancelled and forfeited of the P5,000 cash assistance after the above mentioned 30 calendar days.

Region VIII reported that out of the 77 unclaimed cash cards, 26 are already forfeited.

For the direct cash payout, 2,142 beneficiaries in Region VII (104) and Region VIII (2,038) have already received the assistance; Region VII has completed the distribution in April 2017 at the CENDET Conference Hall, Cebu City.

Continuing actions

The DSWD has also decided to implement an extension and expansion of additional 77,632 household-beneficiaries in response to appeals received through the department’s grievance mechanism during the progress of the implementation of the project. The expansion means that an additional P388,160,000 will be released.

To date, P311,100,000 has been released through 5KPFA ,benefiting 62,220 household- beneficiaries in Regions VI (52,644), Negros Island (4,228), VII (104), and Region VIII (5,224).

Shelter Assistance

The DSWD has also provided funds to affected households through the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA), which is the release of P10,000 and P30,000 cash assistance to families whose houses were partially and totally damaged, respectively, by ‘Yolanda’. The cash aid was used to purchase construction materials to repair a house or to build a new one.

To date, a total of P21,001,620,000 has been distributed to families affected by ‘Yolanda’ in Regions IV-B, VI, VII, and VIII under DSWD’s ESA program.

Around 474,763 families with totally damaged houses received P30,000, while 675,873 families with partially damaged houses received P10,000 under the ESA program.

Modified Shelter Assistance Program

As to the modified shelter assistance program or MSAP, DSWD targetted 3,112 units to be built in Regions 4B, 6, 7 and 8. As of August 2016, only 1,017 units or 32.68% were completed, with 1,935 units or 62.18% still not started.

After further validation, the target has decreased to 2,983 units. Other target beneficiaries have opted not to avail of the assistance while others were deemed ineligible.

Based on the report of DReAMB as of end of September 2017, 1,567 units or 52.53% have been completed, an increase of 550 units after a year. Only 939 units or 32.47% are still to be started. The continuing delays are caused by the following: the relocation area is located in an uphill area and the suppliers of construction materials have difficulties navigating the access road; the LGUs still have to identify relocation lots in their locality; and budget constraints.

Lessons learned

“If there is one lesson that the DSWD has learned from Typhoon Yolanda, this is the necessity to provide prompt and immediate aid to victims of disasters,” stated DSWD OIC Emmanuel A. Leyco. OIC Leyco said that the lessons learned from ‘Yolanda’ are currently being implemented by the DSWD management, especially for families affected by recent typhoons and the Marawi crisis.

The practice of prepositioning goods even at the barangay levels should be continued, but with strict and constantly improving monitoring systems. OIC Leyco also cited that the mechanized repacking of relief supplies, provided by the World Food Programme in 2015, has helped a lot in the speedy delivery of goods to affected local government units.

He also encouraged local government units (LGUs) to organize their communities and train volunteers in disaster preparedness. LGUs are the first responders in the event of natural and man-made disasters.

Last year, Assistant Secretary Aleli Bawagan headed a team that assessed and validated the distribution of ESA and the implementation of other rehabilitation efforts in Regions VI and VIII. She disclosed that more than a million victims were assisted but there are still hundreds of thousands who have yet to receive the ESA.

OIC Sec. Leyco assured disaster victims that the Department is continuously improving its services to ensure that all will have equal opportunities to various assistance which is the core of the DSWD May Malasakit ( Compassionate and Caring Service) and Para sa Nakararami (For the greater majority) values. ###