Tacloban City, Philippines – Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Regional Director Restituto Macuto revealed that the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) funds for Typhoon Ruby victims in Borongan City is still subject for approval by new DSWD Secretary making it impossible for the city government to distribute the said assistance to identified beneficiaries.
Macuto, in an exclusive interview with Sinirangan NewsPlus said that the release authority of the check amounting to P159 million will be at the hands of Sec. Judy Taguiwalo.
“Meron akong hanggang P50 million lang na authority and more than that hindi rin ako allowed so hingi rin ako ng authority kay bagong secretary (My authority to release (funds) is just up to P50 million and more than that I could no longer authorize its release so I have to ask for the authority of the new secretary,” Macuto explained.
The announcement of the DSWD regional chief came amid reports that the People’s Surge, an alliance of disaster survivors in Eastern Visayas, will conduct public rally on 23 August 2016 at the Borongan City Hall vicinity to pressure Mayor Fe Abunda to release the funds intended for Ruby victims.
Macuto said that the delay of the release has nothing to do with the local government.
He said that Abunda already called him asking for update on the said fund assistance.
“Good as good na iyan (The fund is good already),” Macuto assured the public particularly those who are waiting for the assistance.
The director said that he is hoping the fund allocation will be out within the month.
The ESA will be distributed pro-rated to 15,075 households. Of these, 2,095 were totally damaged while 12,978 houses were partially damaged.
Macuto also explained that unlike the Yolanda ESA, the distribution will no longer be fixed at for totally and partially damaged houses.(Bryan Azura)