MANILA – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has already extended PHP5.4 million worth of aid for all overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and other overseas Filipinos (OFs) since their repatriation started Oct. 18 amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Hamas militant group.
DSWD Assistant Secretary for Strategic Communications Romel Lopez said 14 batches of repatriates have already arrived in the country as of Nov. 14.
“The Department has released some PHP5.4 million worth of assistance to these repatriates which include cash and food aid,” Lopez, also the DSWD spokesperson, said.
He said the DSWD has already assisted 272 OFWs and OFs and will continue to assist all Filipinos affected by the war. The repatriates came from Israel, Lebanon, West Bank and Palestine.
“Each repatriate was given PHP10,000 cash aid and another PHP10,000 food assistance through the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation or AICS,” Lopez said.
The DSWD works jointly with other government agencies for a whole-of-government approach in assisting the repatriates during these difficult times.
Cash transfer for Egay-hit families
Meanwhile, Lopez also announced on Friday that some 5,203 families by Super Typhoon Egay last July in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) have received PHP6,000 through the DSWD’s Emergency Cash Transfer (ECT) program.
Through the DSWD’s Field Office (FO) CAR, some 4,994 families with partially damaged houses and 209 families with totally damaged houses in the municipalities of Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, and Mountain Province received a total cash assistance of PHP47.76 million.
“We, at the DSWD, are committed to completing the distribution of ECT to the families and individuals who experienced the adverse effects of Super Typhoon Egay as soon as possible. Currently, we have distributed ECT to 84.6 percent of our 6,150 target beneficiaries in CAR,” Lopez said.
The ECT is an adaptive strategy of the DSWD in bridging the gap between immediate disaster relief, humanitarian response, and early recovery support in disasters and emergencies by providing unconditional cash assistance to disaster-affected families, including those whose houses were partially and totally damaged.
“Beneficiaries of ECT can use the cash assistance to aid in their day-to-day needs and repair of their damaged houses,” he said.
He said the DSWD is set to provide more than PHP1.1 billion worth of ECT assistance to the families affected by Super Typhoon “Egay” in CAR, Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and Mimaropa.
As vice-chair for the Disaster Response and Early Recovery Pillar of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the DSWD assured the public that it will uphold the integrity of the ECT process to ensure the efficient and effective delivery of services and programs to disaster-stricken families. (PNA)