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Philippines releases P4.85 billion for cash aid of Odette survivors


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The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on Wednesday released an P4.85 billion to cover the financial assistance for survivors of Typhoon Odette.

The DBM’s release came after President Rodrigo Duterte, on Monday, said he would give P5,000 for each family affected by the calamity.

The Budget department said the P4.85-billion it released shall be distributed to local government units (LGUs) as follows:

  • Region IV-B - P198.21 million
  • Region VI - P1.63 billion
  • Region VII - P1.04 billion
  • Region VIII - P964.10 million
  • Region X - P156.02 millionan
  • Region XIII - P864.08 million

“Affected persons and families are expected to receive assistance equivalent to P1,000 per individual and a maximum of P5,000 per household,” the DBM said.

It added that recipient LGUs should facilitate and determine the most efficient way to immediately distribute the assistance to their constituents.

The mode of distribution would be subject to close supervision and monitoring of the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

“The individual allocations of the respective cities and municipalities were computed based on the number of affected individuals/households, as recently reported by the DSWD,” the DBM said.

The latest amount released was charged from the fiscal year 2021 Unprogrammed Appropriations and shall be recorded as “trust receipts,”  which implies that the fund could only be used by the recipient LGUs for the provision of assistance to those affected by the damages caused by Typhoon Odette.

The Budget department said the financial assistance would be released directly by the Bureau of the Treasury to the concerned LGUs through their respective authorized government servicing banks.

“Upon receipt of the funds, the recipient LGUs are expected to fully disburse their allotment until December 31, 2022," the DBM said.

Otherwise, all unutilized funds after end-December next year will be reverted to the National Treasury by the concerned LGU,” it added.

In total, the DBM has released P6.85 billion to assist typhoon-stricken LGUs, as of December 28, 2021.

Moreover, the DBM also recently released P827.18 million to frontline agencies for the replenishment of their respective Quick Response Fund.

This brings the overall allotment released for Typhoon Odette to P7.68 billion.

The Budget department, likewise, issued Local Budget Circular No. 141 to provide guidelines on the release and utilization of the financial assistance.

 

At the Palace briefing, Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said guidelines for the distribution of case aid were included in the Joint Memorandum Circular No.4 Series of 2021 signed by officials of the DILG, DSWD, and the Department of National Defense.

Malaya said the funds would directly released to local government units  severely affected by the typhoon that are also under a state of calamity.

As of Wednesday, a total of 334 cities or municipalities were declared under the State of Calamity, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said.

The cash aid will be given to low income families who are severely affected by the typhoon. An individual may receive P1,000 while a family may receive up to P5,000.

Concerned LGUs have up to 15 days to finish the distribution of the cash assistance, Malaya said.

Grievance and appeals committee will be established to include affected residents who are not included in the initial list of beneficiaries of their LGUs.

Since internet signal was an issue in the affected areas, the names of the beneficiaries will be posted in hard copies instead of online.

The Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines would provide additional manpower to the distribution process.

The LGUs will manage the distribution while the DSWD will provide technical assistance.

The DILG will monito and supervise the distribution. —NB, GMA News

 

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