At least 90k households in Cebu Province to get P5,000 as assistance for rebuilding homes
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu Province will soon be releasing financial assistance worth P5,000 each to at least 90,000 families whose homes were totally damaged by Typhoon Odette.
Governor Gwendolyn Garcia said they are looking into releasing the cash aid to the local government units (LGUs) in the coming weeks pending the submission of the names of the beneficiaries from the component towns and cities.
“The families are now numbering 87,000 to 88,000, more or less 90,000 families with homes totally damaged. Verification continues with the help of our workers and barangay captains. Even if this is being verified, some LGUs need to submit the names.”
“Other LGUs have promptly submitted the names and these are now being encoded so we can start producing the cards. We will only release these cards after verification,” said the governor.
The Provincial Board Members will also be helping distribute the cash cards because there is a need to explain to the beneficiaries how the cards can be used, Garcia revealed.
Distribution of cash will be done through a coupon system, similar to that of the Capitol’s Sugbo Negosyo initiative.
Each coupon will have a QR code and bear the name of the beneficiaries. It can only be used for necessities so that the funds can be spent through stores in Cebu, to help the economy as well.
“We really need to bring the economy back on its feet. If we use this coupon system, then we are sure that whatever we release in the Province of Cebu, this will be spent on our own merchants, the businesses that are here and will be spent for the needs of the family,” said the governor.
It must be noted that the cards will serve as a coupon that beneficiaries can use to buy galvanized iron (GI) sheets, fiberboards, and other building materials.
They can also use the coupon for other necessities with Capitol-partner supermarkets, groceries, hardware stores, and even department stores. However, it cannot be used for anything else nor the money can be withdrawn.
So that the beneficiaries can buy more building materials, the province has acquired GI sheets and fiberboards from local suppliers at bulk prices.
Garcia warned suppliers to stop hoarding building materials and supply the Cebuanos their fair share because many families need the materials to rebuild their homes.
The Capitol purchased GI sheets from three major suppliers in the province, but one of them has failed to deliver the promised 75,000 GI sheets worth P35 million.
The governor has expressed discontent over the lack of commitment of this particular supplier because the contract signed with the Capitol is for the payment to be released seven days after delivery.
However, the supplier refused to release the stocks as they want to be paid prior to delivery.
In a scathing statement against the supplier, Governor Garcia warned them that if they do not honor the commitment they made to the province, she will do what is in her power under a state of calamity to make them release the stocks.
“I hope you iron this out and we are in a state of calamity right now. And I will exercise whatever emergency powers under a state of calamity so that my constituents will not suffer any longer from what they are already suffering. GI sheets are of utmost need by our constituents,” said the governor.
Garcia is also seeking the help of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez to investigate the cases of hoarding in Cebu and ensure that prices are regulated.
The governor told the business sector that it is not the time to take advantage of the people’s sufferings.
“There are some suppliers that are holding on to their GI sheets, at this time of utmost need of the Cebuanos. I hope karma will reach you guys. I hope somehow magkakonsensya kayo, make a profit other times, not during this time when so many are miserable and in dire need of these GI sheets,” she said. /rcg
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