ASSISTANCE. Antique Governor Rhodora J. Cadiao (third from left) receives PHP5 million cash assistance from National Housing Authority (NHA) District Manager Jesus Fantilaga (second from left) to help families whose houses had been damaged by Typhoon Odette. Eby Archangel Butiong, Antique provincial housing board secretary, said on Wednesday (Jan. 26, 2022) that each qualified recipient will be receiving P5, 000 as assistance to rebuild their houses. (Photo courtesy of Antique PIO)

SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique – The National Housing Authority (NHA) has extended an initial PHP5 million cash assistance to families that were displaced by Typhoon Odette in Antique.

Antique provincial housing board secretary Eby Archangel Butiong, in an interview Wednesday, said that NHA district manager Architect Jesus Fantilaga turned over the PHP5 million cash assistance for typhoon victims whose houses were either partially damaged or wrecked during its onslaught on Dec. 16, 2021.

“The amount extended is under the NHA’s Emergency Housing Assistance Program (EHAP) where each beneficiary family could receive PHP5,000 in cash,” Butiong said.

The Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), in a report submitted to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) on December 22, 2021, showed 9,415 houses were damaged.

Of the number, there were 8,655 partially damaged and 1,314 destroyed.

“There was a two-day validation on January 17 in the southern part of Antique and on January 18 in the northern part headed by the NHA Regional Office 6 and composed by personnel of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) and PDRRMO to identify the families reported with damaged houses and include those who had been left out,” he said.

Butiong added that by January 28 the validation team will be coming up with a recommendation as part of the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment identifying those who would be prioritized in the initial assistance, which was taken in the remaining 2021 budget of the NHA.

“NHA has assured though that they will still be extending additional assistance to the remaining families who would not be prioritized,” he said.

The cash assistance to the affected families with damaged houses could already be released before the end of the month.

“The assistance is in compliance to the directive of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to the NHA dated December 21, 2021 to assist affected families whose houses were either damaged or totally destroyed by Typhoon Odette in seven regions including Western Visayas where Antique is,” he said. (PNA)