by Social Marketing
To ensure its quick response during calamities, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) closely monitors approaching weather disturbances, prepositions family food packs (FFPs) in its Field Offices, and mobilizes quick response teams (QRTs) to conduct relief operations, when needed.
Two of the most devastating weather disturbances that hit the country in 2016 were Super Typhoon Lawin, which struck Northern Luzon in October and Typhoon Nina, which hit Southern Luzon in November.
During the onslaught of ‘Lawin’ and ‘Nina,’ the DSWD through its Disaster Response Assistance and Management Bureau (DReAMB) and concerned Field Offices (FOs), provided relief assistance to affected families, distributed food packs and non-food items to help them cope with the disasters. Likewise, to help the victims rebuild their damaged homes, the Department provided cash assistance to the affected households through the Emergency Shelter Cash Assistance Program (ESCAP). Under ESCAP, households with partially and totally-damaged houses received P10,000 and P30,000 cash assistance, respectively.
DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo admitted that there are delays in the implementation of ESA and ESCAP to all affected households because of several factors such as validation of qualified beneficiaries especially those in far-flung, remote areas; peace and order situation in certain localities; and, release of budget.
“We are well aware of the delays in the provision of ESA and ESCAP to ‘Lawin’ and ‘Nina’-affected households and we apologize for them. We wish to explain, however, that there are factors and considerations that are out of our control that contribute to the delays in the release of the assistance. However, the DSWD is doing its best to fast-track the release of the assistance to the affected households so they can have additional funds to repair their homes as well as their lives,” Sec. Taguiwalo said.
To date, the release of the ESCAP is still being facilitated in all affected regions in Luzon.
ESCAP for ‘Lawin’-survivors
For ‘Lawin’-affected areas in Regions CAR, I, II, and III, a total of 161,553 households with damaged houses are targeted to be provided with ESCAP amounting to P807.76 million.
As of 30 June 2017, some 146,509 household-beneficiaries or 91% of the target number of households have already received the initial ESCAP amounting to P5,000 for a total of P732 million. Some 14,965 households have yet to receive the initial amount.
The DSWD is still working to provide the balance of P5,000 for households with partially-damaged houses, and P25,000 for households with totally destroyed houses.
ESCAP for ‘Nina’-survivors
On the other hand, as of June, a total of 36,518 ‘Nina’-affected households in Regions IV-A, IV-B, and V have already received the P5,000 initial ESA from the Department for a total of P182 million. The remaining 222,619 households have yet to receive the initial assistance.
The balance of P5,000 each for households with totally-damaged houses, and P25,000 for those with partially-destroyed houses to complete the P10,000 and P30,000 assistance, respectively, will be provided by the DSWD to the affected families once funding is made available by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) through the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. ###