PALOMPON, LEYTE – Some P 238.7 million were distributed in this town starting Saturday, February 7, in “Emergency Shelter Assistance” (ESA) of P 30,000 each for those with “totally damaged houses” and P 10,000 for “partially damaged” homes from Yolanda, which struck the town last November 8, 2013 yet.
This is the first ever distribution of the controversial ESA for the year in the Leyte-Samar “Yolanda corridor”, which is funded in the General Appropriations Act of 2015.
7,895 beneficiaries got P 30,000 each while 5,326 got the P 10,000 each, or a total of 13,221 families. Palompon has a population of around 55,000 according to the 2010 census.
Mayor Ramon Oñate said he is proud to note that Palompon is the first LGU in the region to receive the assistance, largely because they were the first to be able to submit initial documentary requirements as early as March 2014.
He lauded his social welfare office, headed by municipal social welfare officer-designate Raoul Bacalla, for their “efficiency and dedication” in compiling the required documentation, and “re-validating” the recipients as much as five times, “to eliminate complaints”.
The mayor also said “transparency and openness” accounted for the swift completion of the papers. By using the DAFAC system and being transparent with the listing of beneficiaries, they were able to weed out those who were not qualified; and more importantly, include qualified beneficiaries who were left out in the initial lists, for one reason or another.
Oñate also told beneficiaries that Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez was an important figure in fast-tracking the town’s ESA’s release. “When we had completed all the documentary requirements and submitted it to the national,” he told constituents, “we then called up the congresswoman everyday to help us push for its release.” Continue reading