‘Yolanda’ victims ask DSWD to probe housing aid funds


SCENE on the shore of an island village in Capiz province just days after Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan), packing winds of up to 300 kilometers per hour, struck the area in November 2013. MARICAR CINCO/INQUIRER SOUTHERN LUZON

SCENE on the shore of an island village in Capiz province just days after Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan), packing winds of up to 300 kilometers per hour, struck the area in November 2013. MARICAR CINCO/INQUIRER SOUTHERN LUZON

ILOILO CITY—A group of survivors of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) and its supporters asked Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo to audit funds meant for building or repairing houses of victims of the 300-kilometer-per-hour storm in November 2013 after hundreds of them failed to receive funds from the Aquino administration.

The Kusog sang Pumuluyo, a group of Yolanda survivors and its supporters on Panay Island, also pleaded to Taguiwalo to finish the distribution of funds for the emergency shelter assistance (ESA) program started by the previous administration but which critics said had left out hundreds of victims.

Kusog said Taguiwalo should also order an audit of funds donated for Yolanda victims following reports that billions of pesos from foreign donors were left unspent by the Aquino administration.

“We hope that Secretary Taguiwalo will look into the appeal of the survivors who have been complaining since the previous administration,” said Fr. Marco Sulayao, Kusog spokesperson.

In a text message, Taguiwalo said she would “immediately act” on Kusog’s appeal.

“We continue to gather feedback from people’s organizations, especially Yolanda survivors, regarding the aid they insist they did not receive,” Taguiwalo said in her text message.

She said a review of the implementation of disaster relief programs for Yolanda victims “remains one of the priorities” of her department.

“We want to make sure that the problems the DSWD encountered in the delivery of aid to Yolanda survivors will not happen again,” said Taguiwalo.

“This is precisely why there is a review,” she said.

Western Visayas suffered heavily when Yolanda battered the region, leaving behind hundreds of people dead and billions of pesos in property damaged.

The region includes the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras and Iloilo.

At least 23,814 families (21,114 in Aklan and 2,700 in Capiz provinces) are still waiting for the release of funds for the ESA, according to Sulayao.

Most had not been listed as beneficiaries or were excluded from ESA as a result of Memorandum Circular No. 24 issued by former Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman.

Under the memorandum, survivors whose houses were destroyed or damaged are ineligible to receive cash aid if their families have monthly incomes of more than P15,000 and if they are living in areas tagged as danger zones.

Survivors who have gotten help from nongovernment sources are also disqualified from ESA, which provides cash grants of P30,000 per family that lost its house to Yolanda and P10,000 per family that needed to repair its damaged house.

Kusog called for the scrapping of the memorandum, calling it discriminatory.

The group said disqualifying families with incomes of at least P15,000 a month from the program and those that got help from private sources still needed government help because of the massive devastation left by Yolanda.

Fr. Sulayao said the investigation and prosecution of officials involved in irregularities in the distribution of ESA funds should be continued.

Deputy Ombudsman Paul Elmer Clemente had ordered the suspension of two village officials in Lemery town for nine months for soliciting P10,000 from the ESA funds received by a Yolanda survivor.

Barangay Captain Cherryl Peniero and Barangay Councilor Rolly Castro, of Barangay Poblacion Southeast Zone, are also facing a criminal case.

The Ombudsman found them guilty of getting P10,000 from Milagros Binas, who was supposed to receive P30,000 in ESA funds since her house was destroyed by Yolanda.

Binas said P10,000 of her funds went to the two officials who asked for a “donation” in exchange for their efforts to list down Binas as a beneficiary.

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

Copyright © 2018,

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate: c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Despite P5-B monthly losses, House panel backs Boracay closure
  • House OKs foreign divorce bill on final reading
  • Number coding for city and provincial buses lifted on March 28, April 2
  • Bong Revilla files urgent bid to stop plunder case proceedings
  • ‘Conservative’ Villar rejects divorce bill
  • Sports

  • Fajardo in for a tough challenge against determined Sangalang
  • No complacency ‘a must’ as Lady Eagles near UAAP volleyball Final 4
  • UAAP volleyball: Adamson bags second straight win, keeps NU reeling
  • 5 years since last Finals clash, different San Miguel, Magnolia cross paths
  • Penny Hardaway takes over as Memphis’ new basketball coach
  • Lifestyle

  • Baristas talk about outrageous orders they’ve received from customers
  • Cat found impaled on a fence survives with all limbs intact
  • Vietnam restaurant owner encased bun cha table ‘to preserve the memory of Mr. Obama’
  • Too much red, processed meat linked to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Au revoir, baguette! France goes burger-mad
  • Entertainment

  • WATCH: Marvel’s ‘Cloak & Dagger’ series releases first full trailer
  • Jason Abalos sets standard for ‘boyfriend goals’
  • Judge grants initial motions in Weinstein Co. bankruptcy
  • Cynthia Nixon takes aim at Cuomo in 1st campaign event
  • ‘The Crown’ producers apologize to Claire Foy, Matt Smith after pay dispute
  • Business

  • Supplemental budget sought to disburse P1.16-B Dengvaxia refund
  • Boracay casino’s $100-M annual revenues a boon for LRWC, Pagcor
  • PH sells P12B panda bonds amid strong demand
  • Union Bank unveils free global digital platform for MSMEs
  • FLI nets P5.83B
  • Technology

  • Next ‘Assassin’s Creed’ set for Greece?
  • Augmented reality app from Google lets you draw floating works of art
  • Horny dinosaur’s headgear borne of sexual selection—study
  • Bird populations in rural France ‘collapsing’
  • Facebook to hook stream viewers with built-in rewards system
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, March 21, 2018
  • Terrible advice
  • Social media’s junkies and dealers
  • Enchanted Zoobic nights
  • Coastal cleanup with napalm
  • Global Nation

  • Duterte on Rome Statute: ‘I never read the law’
  • Duterte to US: Keep PH out of your wars, expeditions
  • Trillanes: Duterte’s withdrawal from ICC ‘void from the start’
  • Duterte bares ‘mandatory provisions’ in PH-Kuwait OFW deal  
  • Norwegian pedophile barred from entering PH

    • Compensation commission releases P2.3-M to aid Marawi soldiers

      Read More

    • PNP can’t always fool public with ‘nanlaban’ claims – solons

      Read More

    • Poll: Most dislike NFL protests and Trump comments

      Read More

    • Former Mexico governor wanted in US arrested

      Read More

    • US: Nobel Peace choice doesn’t change US stance

      Read More

    • California becomes first ‘sanctuary state’ for undocumented migrants

      Read More

    • Mexican photojournalist found dead after kidnapping

      Read More

    • Moscow gets 130 fake bomb calls, evacuates 100,000 people

      Read More

    • Frustrated police appeal for public’s help in Vegas case

      Read More

    • US states declare emergency ahead of Tropical Storm Nate

      Read More

    • Trump’s one-two punch hits birth control, LGBT rights

      Read More

    • Maute terror base overrun; priest rescued

      Read More

    • CHR execs rebut Duterte: Gascon not a pedophile

      Read More

    • De Lima on Estrada’s bail: We may as well decriminalize plunder

      Read More

    • Army whistle-blower now in hiding

      Read More