THE financial assistance for individuals severely affected by Typhoon Odette (Rai) in at least 27 provinces or 420 cities/municipalities in the country have already been downloaded to the recipient local government units (LGUs) for distribution, said the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Wednesday, January 5, 2021.

DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a press briefing Wednesday that the LGUs have already received the funds and they were given 15 days to finish the distribution of the cash aid.

He said the DILG and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will monitor the distribution to ensure that the assistance is given to the typhoon-affected individuals.

Based on the Joint Memorandum 4, series of 2021 issued by the DILG, DSWD and Department of National Defense (DND), the target beneficiaries are low-income families that were severely affected by Typhoon Odette.

Malaya said P1,000 will be given per individual, or a maximum of P5,000 per family.

He said the LGUs were ordered to post the list of beneficiaries on social media, or in conspicuous places in the barangay prior to the distribution, adding that the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines were directed to provide additional manpower to the LGUs whenever necessary.

Malaya added that the LGUs will also have to form a grievance and appeals committee that will act on all complaints that might be raised regarding the distribution of cash aid.

In a briefing with President Rodrigo Dutere Tuesday night, January 4, 2022, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said a total of P4.85 billion will be distributed to the typhoon-affected families.

“Malaki pong halaga ang ating idi-distribute. Ang total po ay P4.85 billion. Bukod pa po ito sa mga ibinigay nating assistance sa pag-repair ng kanilang mga bahay. Ito po ay cash assistance lamang. Bukod pa rin ito sa mga food packs na ipinamimigay ng ating DSWD,” he said.

(We are going to distribute a huge amount. The total is P4.85 billion. This is aside from the assistance we gave for the repair of their houses. This is only cash assistance. This is also aside from the food packs distributed by the DSWD.)

Data from DILG showed that the 27 provinces severely affected by Typhoon Odette are located in six regions: Mimaropa, with three provinces; Western Visayas – 6; Central Visayas – 4; Eastern Visayas – 4; Northern Mindanao – 5; and Caraga – 5.

Palawan is the hardest hit province, getting P195 million cash aid, said Año.

In Western Visayas, P1.6 billion monetary aid was given to 134 cities and municipalities, with Negros Occidental getting the lion’s share of P1.059 billion.

In Central Visayas, 109 cities and municipalities were affected by the typhoon, with Negros Oriental getting P475 million and Cebu province receiving P458 million cash aids.

The DILG chief reported that 64 cities and towns in Eastern Visayas were also given funds, with Southern Leyte getting P409 million.

In Northern Mindanao, five provinces comprising 57 cities and municipalities were the recipients of the government’s assistance, with Misamis Oriental getting the highest amount at P99 million.

“At ito naman po ang Caraga or Region 13 na nagco-cover sa 71 cities and municipalities that were severely affected. Ang Surigao provinces, Del Sur and Del Norte, ang mataas na makakakuha ng allocation at P233 million and P213 million, respectively,” Año added.

Dinagat Islands received P133 million since it has a comparatively smaller population compared to the other provinces in Caraga.

Part of the guidelines for the financial assistance distribution is that the money should be released in cash. (With PNA)