DSWD left out no qualified ‘Yolanda’-affected families
THIS HAS reference to the issues raised in the news article titled, “Gov’t aid leaves out 10,000 families” (Across the Nation, 4/5/15).
We would like to clarify that we have not excluded 10,000 families in the implementation of the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) program in Region 6 as claimed by Kusog sang Pumuluyo.
Our Field Office 6 engaged the members of the group, together with its allied organizations, to ensure that no eligible family affected by Typhoon “Yolanda” will be left out.
The 9,038 families represent the additional list submitted by Kusog sang Pumuluyo and its allied groups on March 27 to our Field Office 6 after a series of dialogues. During these dialogues, the field office opened the list of families not included in the first priority. The intent was for the regional office to submit a consolidated list to the central office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development for additional funding to be able to help the families.
The DSWD and concerned local government units will then verify the documents submitted whether the families are eligible for the ESA.
Officers of the organizations admitted that most of the names submitted came from “danger zones,” thus, are not eligible based on the ESA guidelines. They are not included because they are being assisted by the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.
We would like to reiterate that the ESA provides P30,000 and P10,000 to families whose houses were totally and partially damaged, respectively, by Yolanda and is not for all affected families.
Due to budget limitations and to ensure that those who need the assistance the most are prioritized, we maintain our policy of NOT including those earning P15,000 and above since majority have access to government financing institutions like the Government Service Insurance System, Social Security System and Pag-Ibig.
In summary, the ESA is given to affected families who have no permanent sources of income or whose income is below the poverty threshold of the region.
Those who have received similar shelter assistance from local and international organizations are no longer qualified to the grant. This is so to make for the equal distribution of aid to qualified beneficiaries.
Inasmuch as we want to help all affected families of Yolanda, there are guidelines that we must follow. These will be the same guidelines which our partners from the Commission on Audit will use to review our disbursements.
But beyond upholding these guidelines, we would like to reiterate that this policy was put in place in the interest of fairness so that the less fortunate are given the chance to rebuild their lives.
—JAVIER R. JIMENEZ, assistant secretary,
Department of Social Welfare
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