Where’s aid from Duterte? ‘Yolanda’ survivors ask
ILOILO CITY—Survivors of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) in Capiz province, who were excluded from the government’s emergency shelter assistance (ESA) coverage, are pressing for the release of the P5,000 promised to them by President Duterte.
About 1,000 typhoon survivors in Ivisan town have called on the municipal government and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to hasten the processing of the financial assistance.
The validation of the list of beneficiaries was completed on March 22 but none of those on the list had received the money, Azucena Urdelas-Chapman, spokesperson of Buylog Capiz, an organization of Yolanda survivors in the province, told the Inquirer.
Chapman said about 2,000 families were eligible for the assistance but the group was able to submit only 1,000 names due to time constraints.
“Those on the list were excluded from ESA and they have been waiting for more than three years [to get help],” Chapman said.
Officials of the DSWD in Western Visayas and representatives from the municipal social welfare and development office were unavailable for comment as they were in meetings on Thursday.
A coastal municipality, Ivisan is among the areas worst hit by the supertyphoon, which struck on Nov. 8, 2013, and ravaged communities mostly in the Visayas.
Yolanda, one of the world’s strongest typhoons to have hit land, left hundreds of thousands of families homeless in several provinces in the Visayas, many of them in Leyte and Samar.
Mr. Duterte, in November last year, ordered the release of the assistance amid widespread complaints from about 200,000 survivors who were excluded or delisted as ESA beneficiaries.
Under the ESA, families whose houses were destroyed received P30,000, while those who reported damage were given P10,000.
Many were not listed as beneficiaries due to Memorandum Circular No. 24, which was issued by former Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman.
Under the memorandum, survivors whose houses were destroyed or damaged in the supertyphoon were ineligible to receive cash assistance if their family had a monthly income of more than P15,000. Also disqualified were families living in areas considered as danger zones, including communities 40 meters from the coastline.
Survivors who received full shelter subsidy from private organizations were also excluded from receiving ESA.
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