NHA extends P487-M cash aid to 9.5K ‘Odette’-hit families

Some 97,500 families in various provinces affected by the onslaught of Typhoon Odette have already received a total of PHP487 million in “immediate” cash assistance from the National Housing Authority (NHA).

Secretary Eduardo del Rosario, head of the Department of Human Settlement and Urban Development (DHSUD), said there were 406,521 partially and 181,258 totally destroyed houses from different areas, based on the initial assessment of the housing sector as of January 5.

These destroyed houses were situated in the regions of Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao, Soccsksargen, Caraga and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Del Rosario said the government, in coordination with the US Agency for International Development and the International Organization for Migration, has provided 5,598 shelter-grade tarpaulin sheets used by the evacuees in Cebu, Bohol, Southern Leyte, and Caraga Region.

“We teamed up with the Philippine Coast Guard in distributing 14,000 more shelter-grade tarpaulin sheets, 250 modular tents for evacuation centers, and 1,310 solar lamps in typhoon-hit areas,” he added.

Seven hundred shelter repair kits which contained GI sheets, lumber, plywood, tarps, nails, and carpentry tools were likewise sent to the Caraga Region while 300 more similar kits were distributed in Southern Leyte.

Del Rosario announced the International Organization for Migration will be procuring 8,000 more shelter repair kits for Southern Leyte, Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Province.

The DHSUD also sends out relief assistance to typhoon victims.

Del Rosario said the Pag-IBIG Fund, DHSUD’s key shelter agency, also offers PHP5 billion worth of calamity loan assistance to its typhoon-affected members, availing 80 percent of their membership savings.

The loan payment period for this offer will be extended up to three years, with lower monthly amortization.

“So malaking tulong ito para sa formal sector, iyong mga empleyado sa gobyerno o empleyado sa mga private sector na miyembro ng Pag-IBIG (So it would be a huge help for our formal sector, those government and private sector employees that are members of Pag-IBIG) so they can immediately apply for Calamity Loan and they can get 80 percent of their savings with a very low interest rate of 5.9 percent only.

The DHSUD earlier pledged assistance may be used by the local government units to procure construction materials and repair severely damaged houses. (PNA)