Chiz dares DSWD:
Charge people exploiting Yolanda victims
By Office of Senator Chiz
August 26, 2015
PASAY CITY – Senator
Francis Escudero challenged the Department of Social Welfare and
Development (DSWD) to investigate and file appropriate charges against
unscrupulous individuals who prey on victims of Super Typhoon
“Yolanda” who are supposed to receive the government’s Emergency
Shelter Assistance (ESA) program.
Escudero said the DSWD
should seriously look into reports that some Yolanda survivors who
have yet to receive housing aid were forced to sign documents
indicating that they have availed of the shelter assistance, while
others were victimized by loan sharks who connive with dishonest
employees of the agency.
“If you are to ask these
Yolanda survivors how they feel, they will surely say they’ve been
victimized twice: first by the super typhoon and later by opportunists
who take advantage of their situation,” Escudero said.
“These immoral and corrupt
opportunists, who take advantage of a natural disaster to fill their
pockets with money meant for victims, should be thrown in jail,” he
ESA provides cash assistance
of P30,000 and P10,000 to families whose houses were partially or
totally damaged, respectively. The money is used for the purchase of
construction materials to repair or reconstruct their homes.
The program, which had an
initial funding of P1.9 billion, was intended for families who have
not received any shelter assistance from the government or the private
However, there were
complaints from beneficiaries themselves that they only received
P10,000 even if their homes were totally damaged, and that some of
funds went to “fake” or “ghost” beneficiaries.
A number of ESA
beneficiaries also complained how loan sharks, in cahoots with
unscrupulous DSWD employees, took advantage of them.
These loan sharks would lend
cash with 16 percent interest to a potential ESA recipient. The DSWD
would then release the shelter assistance not to the beneficiary, but
directly to the “financier,” according to reports.