A Surigao quake victim beams as he receives the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) from the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
A Surigao quake victim beams as he receives the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) from the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has completed the distribution of the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) to families who had been affected by the 6.7-magnitude earthquake that hit Surigao City, Surigao Del Sur and other neighboring towns in February.

ESA is the assistance provided to disaster victims whose houses were totally or partially damaged as assessed by the DSWD. It may be released in cash or in the form of construction materials, depending on the situation favorable to the beneficiaries.

DSWD Field Office (FO) in the CARAGA Region conducted the last payout of the assistance in Surigao City on May 31 through the FO’s Disaster Response Assistance and Management Unit (DReAMU).

To date, the DSWD has provided a total of P103 million to 10,084 identified affected households in Surigao Del Sur. Of this number, P68,706,000 was provided to the quake victims in Surigao City; P9,723,000 in the Municipality of San Francisco (formerly Anao-aon); and P5,677,000 in Mainit. A total of P7,069,000 was disbursed for the quake victims in Sison; while P12,055,000 in Malimono.

Households whose houses were partially damaged received P10,000, while those with totally damaged houses took home a total of P30,000. Of this amount, P6,000 was earlier provided by the local government unit, while the remaining  was provided by FO CARAGA.

The cash aid aims to help the beneficiaries buy construction materials to rebuild their damaged houses. To ensure that it is duly spent for the purchase of the materials, a receipt should be provided by the beneficiaries to the DSWD.

Esederio Guardalupe, a resident of Barangay San Juan, Surigao City whose house has been heavily damaged by the tremor, thanked the government for the aid provided to her and to other affected families.

“Daghan gajud kami hinabang tagdawatan gikan sa gobyerno pagkahuman iton linog, tapos jari na pud ining kwarta para dugang paajo sa amo bayay na natumpag (We have received many help from the government after the earthquake, and now here is an additional financial assistance to help us repair our devastated house. I am really thankful),” Guardalupe said.

The list of ESA beneficiaries was based on the terminal report submitted to the Department by the LGUs of the affected city and municipalities, which identified the eligible recipients of the shelter assistance. The DSWD conducted a thorough validation of the list before processing the aid.

DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo said, “As we continuously assist the families displaced by the ongoing armed conflict in Marawi, we also continue to attend to the needs of the victims of previous disasters, such as the Surigao earthquake in February. We hope that this assistance will help the quake-affected families bounce back to their normal lives.” ###