DSWD double checks list of damaged houses

NAGA CITY --- The expanded validation recently undertaken by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) about the list of 359,671 houses in Bicol reportedly damaged by Typhoon Tisoy is a preventive measure against unqualified beneficiaries who will take advantage of its emergency shelter assistance to be given.

Arnel Garcia, DSWD Bicol regional director, made the clarification about the delay in the release of the emergency shelter assistance in relation to the report of Vilma Lim, DSWD Camarines Sur’s action team leader, during the regular session of the Sanguniang Panglalawigan (SP) on Jan. 15.

During the SP session, Lim said that DSWD’s continuing validation process of the 143,821 reported damaged houses in Camarines Sur is due to contradicting data from the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Offices (MSWDs) and Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Offices (MDRRMOs) of different local government units, which resulted in confusions.

She also reported during the session that her team already validated 4,353 damaged houses.

Garcia said that the expanded validation is needed to ensure that the financial assistance will be handed to the actual affected beneficiaries living in partially and/or totally damaged houses.

He explained that for instance, some unscrupulous individuals intentionally destroy parts of their houses to qualify for the assistance while others submit false reports of damage to their houses.

Aside from the confusing data, Garcia said that the expanded validation is a result of the latest follow-up of the documents concerning deceased beneficiaries and others who already went elsewhere.

He said the release of the assistance will be done once their validation is completed.

He said that in Bicol region, there were 53,782 reported totally damaged houses while 365, 89 houses were partially damaged, including 10,490 totally damaged houses and 137, 684 partially damaged houses in Camarines Sur.

In the case of victims of Typhoon Nina, the DSWD said P2 billion was distributed to some 140,148 qualified beneficiaries in Camarines Sur in 2017.

Typhoon Niña, with the maximum wind of 185 kilometers per hour devastated the region in the evening of Christmas day of 2016.