TACLOBAN CITY, (PNA) -– Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon J. Soliman is personally looking into grievances relative to the release of emergency shelter assistance (ESA) to super typhoon Yolanda survivors in Leyte province.
Soliman was in Leyte on Thursday to personally check the problem in Alangalang town where some residents have questioned the local government for having them signed documents ahead of actual release of financial aid.
“People thought that they were asked to sign the payroll without getting the money, but I found out that those papers are actually to validate if the recipients are still living in their respective villages nearly two years after the disaster,” Soliman told reporters.
The cabinet member said that there could have been no problem had the local government adequately informed residents the purpose of gathering signatures.
“They did the validation before the payout unlike in other areas where validation and payout are being done on the same day,” she explained.
The DSWD will also probe on the complaints in Mayorga town where local officials decided to slash the funds for listed recipients and share some amount for some families not included in the original list of ESA grantees.
“We will look into this because under the guideline, those who are not in the list should wait for the next release. There’s only one guideline. If local government units have other guidelines, we will investigate,” the DSWD chief said.
Soliman confirmed that the DSWD and some concerned local governments have also removed on the list some families who got housing units from non-government organizations.
According to the DSWD rules, eligible to receive the ESA are families whose houses were either totally or partially damaged located in safe or in controlled areas; families who are renting or sharing houses provided they are listed in the official DSWD list; families whose heads are employed but do not have access to housing loans.
Also qualified are regular employees of government and private sectors with fix monthly salary below the PHP15,000 provided they have not received the same assistance from other agencies; and individuals who are considered lone survivors due to the typhoon provided he/she is included in the master list of beneficiaries.
Those families with totally damaged houses get PHP30,000 cash each while those with partially damaged house get PHP10,000 each.
The central government has allocated PHP8 billion for ESA in typhoon-ravaged areas, to include the PHP2 billion released in 2014, representing the first tranche.
Local government units were asked to complete the cash distribution to beneficiaries before the end of this month. (PNA)