4Ps beneficiaries first on DSWD shelter aid list
TACLOBAN CITY—At least a year after this city was brought to its knees by Supertyphoon “Yolanda,” the national government has released to the city government P315 million in shelter aid for 4,600 people, classified as poorest of the poor, who survived the strongest storm ever to hit land but are now homeless or struggling with house repairs.
The beneficiaries are to receive cash from the emergency shelter assistance (ESA) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). They are beneficiaries, too, of the DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), which gives cash to the poorest of the poor provided they send their children to school and get regular medical checkup.
Under the ESA, people who need to repair their houses would receive P10,000 each while those who need to build new ones would receive P30,000 each.
“The wait was worth it,” said Virgie Flores, 68, a widow whose house was damaged at the height of Yolanda.
Nestor Ramos, DSWD Eastern Visayas director, said other beneficiaries were to get their money in the next few weeks.
The City Social Welfare and Development Office had estimated that more than 25,000 families whose houses were damaged and more than 30,000 families who lost theirs needed at least a billion pesos to repair their houses or build new ones.
Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman said her department decided to give the shelter aid to 4Ps beneficiaries because they easily qualify for the aid being the poorest of the poor. Besides, she said, monitoring would be easier.
“It will be easy for us to identify these people and see if they will indeed use the assistance according to purpose,” she said.
Beneficiaries who had started repairing their houses through loans could use the shelter aid to repay their debts, she said.
Soliman was with Panfilo Lacson, rehabilitation czar, in the distribution of the shelter aid on Tuesday.
Lacson said at least P8 billion in financial aid had already been given to the city, considered ground zero of Yolanda.