TACLOBAN CITY- Families who have lost their houses due to supertyphoon Yolanda could expect financial assistance from the government.

But as to when they could receive this financial windfall, is not clear year.

So said Secretary Panfilo “Ping” Lacson of the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Reconstruction and Rehabilitation (OPARR) in an interview.

Lacson said that families whose houses were washed out during the onslaught of Yolanda stand to receive P70,000 while those whose houses sustained partial damage could receive P30,000.

Those who will receive the financial assistance are only whose houses were located on areas identified as safe zones. Thus, house owners whose houses were located in danger zones will not get any of this assistance from the government.

According to the rehabilitation czar, about 1.01 million houses along the so-called Yolanda corridor involving 171 cities and towns in the Visayas either sustained damages or were totally destroyed.

In Tacloban, considered the ground zero of Yolanda,54,231 houses were identified to have been destroyed by Yolanda.

Of this, 30,153 houses were totally destroyed while 23,718 others were damaged.

And under this scheme mentioned by Lacson, the government would allocate more than P2.1 billion for those who totally lost their houses and P711.5 million for partially damaged houses for Tacloban alone.

The amount, Lacson said, was agreed between him and Social Welfare Sec. Corazon “Dinky” Soliman with the source to be taken from the Comprehensive Rehabilitation Plan(CRP) involving total amount of P170 billion.

Lacson, however, did not say during the interview as to how much has been allocated for the financial assistance to be extended to the families whose houses were washed out or damaged from the CRP.

The CRP was sub mitted by his office to President Aquino last August 2 which the latter has yet to approve.

“As to when this will be release, I really don’t know. I myself have no implementing power. It is up to the President to approve it or when it will be release,” Lacson said when asked when the financial assistance would be release.

“Pera yan ng gobyerno. Hindi ako ang nag-approve,” he added.

He, however, said that the assistance would not entirely come in cash as those still rebuilding their houses, for example, could receive the assistance in terms of construction materials.

While owners whose houses were destroyed or washed out but have decided to do the repair can expect the full amount.

But Tacloban City Vice Mayor Jerry Yaokasin, it would be better if the promised financial assistance would be release soon.

“This early, there is already a perception that the money might be use as a campaign tool for the 2016 elections. So, I guess it is better that the money be released soon to avoid this perception from the (survivors of Yolanda0,” Yaokasin said.

For Maricar Degamon,32, who not only totally lost their house in Sagkahan District but six of her relatives during Yolanda’s onslaught, she hope that the national government release before the observance of the one year anniversary of Yolanda’s devastation.

“It will really be a big help for us,” she said.