TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) regional office has distributed PHP10,000 emergency shelter assistance (ESA) to each of the 12,392 families badly affected by Typhoon Odette that ravaged the region in 2021.
Jonalyndie Chua, DSWD 8 (Eastern Visayas) information officer, in a phone interview Tuesday said some PHP123.92 million have been released to families.
Of the 12,392 families, 541 were from Inopacan, 947 were from Hindang, 1,135 from Matalom; and 283 were from Mahaplag and Javier, all in Leyte province.
In Southern Leyte province, recipients were 940 families in Macrohon, 2,315 in Maasin, 1,301 in Limasawa, 526 in Hinundayan, 1,025 in Pintuyan, 986 in Libagon, 1,093 in San Francisco, 1,116 in San Ricardo and 184 in Silago.
There is an ongoing distribution of shelter aid in other areas battered by the destructive typhoon, Chua said.
ESA is a DSWD program to assist disaster-affected families with damaged houses by providing financial assistance to support their recovery, particularly in the repair and reconstruction of their typhoon-damaged houses.
The official admitted that the process of releasing the assistance takes a long time since it is based on the rehabilitation and recovery plan drafted by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) through a series of assessment and consultation activities.
NEDA completed the drafting of the plan in the first quarter of 2022.
It also requires validation by local governments and scrutiny of the National and Regional Disaster Reduction Councils before forwarding the proposed budget to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
“The process was also delayed during the election season this year. The DBM downloaded the budget to DSWD in October and we asked concerned local government unit to send to us the validated list,” Chua said.
The official assured all badly affected families will receive the assistance for as long as their names are submitted by city or municipal governments.
It is up to recipient families on how they will spend the shelter aid, according to Chua.
A total of 185,529 houses have been damaged, including 52,150 wrecked when Typhoon Odette crossed the region on Dec. 16, 2021.
The damaged houses were mostly located in coastal areas and built with light materials. Most of the partially damaged houses were made of heavy materials but were still destroyed due to the high-intensity winds of the typhoon, according to NEDA. (PNA)