Home #LawinPH Lawin victims complain of ‘unfair, politicized’ distribution of DSWD shelter aid

Lawin victims complain of ‘unfair, politicized’ distribution of DSWD shelter aid

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Victims of Super Typhoon Lawin took to social media their dismay over the “unfair” and “selective” distribution of the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Netizens was reacting to the statement of DSWD Cagayan Valley regional director Lucia Alan that the government is now 89% done in the distribution of ESA to Lawin victims in Region 2.

Jay Francis, a resident of Barangay Namabbalan Sur in Tuguegarao City, said his family and his sister never received an assistance despite evidences that their house’s roof were almost totally blown off by strong winds.

Francis said his sister’s name was delisted from the list at the barangay level, claiming that some were listed even if they were not eligible for claims.

He said that his family was delisted from the roll of beneficiaries because of lack of valid Identification (ID) card from his family member who went to the DSWD office.

DAMAGED. Jay Francis, a resident of Tuguegarao City, says his family never received shelter assistance despite evidently having damaged house. Photo courtesy of Jay Francis

“Ang concern ko lang since nasa Manila ako nagwowork at kapatid ko lang tao sa bahay baka pwede i-certify ng [barangay] na bahay namen yun para lang ma qualify, hindi daw pwede [sabi ng DSWD],” Francis said.

Some netizens also pointed out that those who needed more the assistance were not given any cent.

Some victims said their houses were totally blown off but they only received cash assistance for partially-damaged houses.

“Hindi nasunod ang ginawa ‘nyo. “[totally-damaged ang] nilagay sa green card ko. Pagdating ng release, naging partial. Ano ‘yun? Saan napunta?…’Yung iba, walang laman,” Lhen Felix Palattao said.

Politics?

Netizen Nilo Baligod, a resident of Tuao town in Cagayan, said the DSWD cash assistance and relief goods distribution were allegedly tainted by politics in their locality.

“Sa Tuao napakaraming nagrereklamo dahil anila ay pinulitika ang pagkuha ng mga pangalan ng mga biktima ni Lawin. Instead na makakuha ng biyaya dahil napinsala ang kanilang ariarian at kabuhayan, ay lalo pa silang nabiktima sa sirkumstansiya ng pulitika sa Tuao,” Baligod said.

He urged the DSWD to investigate its own men who allegedly “conspired” with local officials in the municipality and the barangays in using the fund for the shelter assistance for political gains.

Baligod said that the DSWD will only have to listen grievances of the people and to “look deeper” into the claims.

Richard Paat of Tuguegarao City said, “Hindi [lahat] nabigyan. May mga victim na [hindi naka-kuha] dahil ang mga kinuha o binigyan ng form ng mga [barangay officials ay hindi mga biktima. Dapat patas ang distribution, at hindi lang iyong kung sino iyong malapit sa paa ng otoridad o namamahala.]”

‘Too late’

DSWD regional director Alan, responding to the criticisms against their handling of the shelter aid distribution, said the complains should have been made earlier, or before the deadline of application of assistance.

“Within a year, bakit hindi sila nag-complain noon. Kung hindi sila in-entertain ng barangay, dapat pumunta sila sa munisipyo o sa amin para nagre-validate sana kami,” Alan said.

Alan defended the agency saying all implementation of the programs of the government has margin of errors.

“Lahat naman ng programa ay meron namang margin of error, wala namang perpekto. Pero sana mas maaga po ang pagsabi para nagawan natin ng paraan,” she said.

She urged that the people should file their complaints formally before her office so they can create a team to validate and investigate if there were anomalies.

In one of her interviews with local radio stations, Alan also admitted that some claimants faked their evidences. She said some have submitted photos of their neighbor’s damaged houses.

The applications of these “fake claimants” were approved and disbursed despite DSWD’s validation. Northernforum.net

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