Duterte: P10,000 each for Yolanda survivors who have yet to get shelter aid
TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – Survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in Leyte who staged protests during the third anniversary of the disaster got what they wanted. (READ: Yolanda survivors to Duterte: We demand justice)
In his speech at the Holy Cross Memorial Park Mass Grave in Barangay Basper on Wednesday, November 8, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that Yolanda survivors qualified to receive Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) but have yet to receive the amount would be given P10,000 each.
Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo explained that the amount is not the same as ESA but "a valid response to the clamor of families who were denied of their right to the assistance."
The DSWD and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will equally contribute to the fund needed for the assistance.
A recent investigation conducted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) revealed that while a million victims have received ESA, there were still thousands – Taguiwalo had earlier pegged this number at 200,000 – who have not because of glitches in the process.
“May patuloy na diskriminasyon sa kung ano ang dapat na matanggap ng mga nasalanta ng bagyong Yolanda na mga ayuda galing sa gobyerno, lalo na yung ESA,” People Surge secretary general Marissa Cabaljao said at the protest action in Palo town.
(There is a continuous discrimination on what relief Yolanda victims should receive, especially the ESA.)
In solidarity with survivors
Addressing survivors in Tacloban City, Taguiwalo said: “Una, ayaw na natin maulit ang ganoon na pinsala tulad ng Yolanda na libu-libong nagbuwis ng buhay na marami sa kanila ang hindi na nakita ang bangkay. Pangalawa, meron pa ring hindi natutulungan ng pamahalaan kahit 3 taon na ang nakakaraan."
(First, we don’t want a repeat of what happened during Yolanda wherein thousands died. Second, there are still many survivors who have yet to receive assistance 3 years after the disaster).”
Since Monday, November 7, Taguiwalo has been going around Yolanda-hit areas in Leyte to express her solidarity with the survivors.
She explained that Duterte committed to find ways for government to assist them.
Taguiwalo also said the DSWD will ensure that the construction of core shelters will be finished and will also assist in the provision of livelihood opportunities to the victims.
Not blaming anyone
Taguiwalo stressed that she is not looking for someone to blame as she shared the updates on the ESA implementation. She said that the information DSWD is sharing is merely in response to the many queries of victims regarding controversial shelter assistance.
Taguiwalo added that the data on ESA and core shelter program recently released are the results of the assessment made by the DSWD internal audit team on the Yolanda disaster operations.
She made special mention of farmers and fishermen affected by the super typhoon and recognized their role in society, as the main food suppliers in the community. She reminded them and the other victims to organize themselves so that they can help one another seek assistance and achieve development.
Taguiwalo concluded her visit to the province by proceeding to the Regional Rehabilitation Center for the Youth (RRCY), a DSWD facility also hard-hit by the typhoon.
She also conveyed her condolences to the center staff and clients who lost a social worker at the height of the super typhoon.
Addressing the center-residents, she said, “Ito ay panahon ng pagbabago. Mahaba pa ang kinabukasan ninyo. Paunlarin ang kakayahan ninyo para magkaroon ng katuparan ang inyong pangarap."
(This is a time for change. You have the future ahead of you. Develop and hone your skills so that you can fulfill your dreams).”
Survivors in Western Visayas
In Western Visayas, DSWD Assistant Secretary Hope Hervilla visited Yolanda-affected areas and held a dialogue with the survivors in partnership with civil society organizations like Rise-Up Aklan, Kusog Sang Pumuluyo, and Bayan Panay.
Hervilla emphasized the DSWD’s message to the more than 300 Yolanda survivors who participated in the dialogue. “Nasa lakas ng tao ang pagbabago (The power to achieve change is within the people’s collective efforts)," she said.
“We want real change, and this means everyone has to work,” she added.
Responding to the inquiries of the victims on the ESA provision, Hervilla explained, “While the Department cannot assure payment to the remaining 83,000 families who did not receive their cash assistance, DSWD can provide them with other available services like livelihood assistance and other basic services.” – Rappler.com