TYPHOON AID. A resident of Cauayan, Negros Occidental receives a cash aid of PHP5,000 granted by the National Housing Authority to families affected by Typhoon Odette, during the payout held on June 14, 2022. The NHA released PHP90 million fund to Negros Occidental to help rebuild the damaged houses of thousands of affected residents. (Photo courtesy of PIO Negros Occidental)

BACOLOD CITY – More than 18,000 families in Negros Occidental province affected by Typhoon Odette last December have received financial assistance from the National Housing Authority (NHA).

Each beneficiary received PHP5,000 to help rebuild their damaged houses through the NHA’s Special Emergency Housing Assistance Program (EHAP), which released a PHP90-million fund to Negros Occidental.

As of Saturday, the provincial government has already completed the payout to recipients in eight local government units across the province.

“We have already given out the aid coming from the NHA,” said Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, who led the series of distribution activities which started on May 30.

Aside from obtaining funding assistance from the NHA, the provincial government also received a PHP41-million financial aid from the Bureau of the Treasury.

In the south, recipients include some 3,989 beneficiaries in Cauayan town who got P19.9 million in cash assistance.

A total of 7,234 residents of Kabankalan City were given more than PHP36 million.

Also, 3,199 beneficiaries in Sipalay City got PHP15.5 million while 2,894 recipients in Isabela town were given PHP14.4 million.

In Ilog town, 2,944 beneficiaries received PHP14.7 million while in Pontevedra, 699 beneficiaries were granted almost PHP3.5 million.

In northern Negros, 291 beneficiaries in the cities of Cadiz and Victorias got PHP1.45 million.

Several areas in southern Negros, including the cities of Kabankalan and Sipalay as well as the municipalities of Ilog, Candoni, Cauayan, and Hinobaan, were the worst hit after experiencing strong winds, heavy rains, and widespread floods overnight on December 16.

Four days after the typhoon hit the province, President Rodrigo Duterte visited Kabankalan to check on the affected areas.

On December 29, NHA Western Visayas Chief Corporate Attorney John Leo Solinap turned over the symbolic check of PHP90 million to Lacson. (PNA)