Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Sec. Erwin Tulfo on Thursday confirmed that the national government currently has no budget allotted for the delivery of the P5,000 financial assistance promised by former President Rodrigo Duterte to victims of Typhoon “Odette.”
It was first district Rep. Edgar Chatto who first raised the concern on the lack of budget for the financial assistance program for typhoon victims following a consultation with Tulfo earlier this month.
“Wala nay pera for this year,” Tulfo said in a brief interview with the local media during his visit to Bohol.
According to Tulfo, the DSWD will have to include the previously promised P1.2 billion in the department’s budget particularly as assistance to individuals in crisis.
He said he will push for the amount’s inclusion during the House of Representative’s budget deliberation next week.
“Promise kasi yan ng previous administration, kailangan natin tuparin yan, hanapan ng pondo. And the only way na naisip ko is ilalapit natin sa Congress,” Tulfo said.
Tulfo said Governor Aris Aumentado previously inquired on the availability of the budget prompting the Cabinet member to check if an amount had indeed been earmarked for the program.
It was confirmed by Tulfo that no such funding was included in the department’s budget for 2022.
“Nangutana ko sa DBM (Department of Budget Management, ingon siya na wala na ma earmark for this year. Pagtan-aw nako sa budget sa DSWD, wala pud sa budget namo. So the best thing I can do is pangayuon na sa Congress,” Tulfo said.
Tulfo’s pronouncement is contrary to the DSWD to the statement of DSWD Undersecretary Marco Bautista last month that the DBM had released P1.5-billion fund the cash assistance program.
The assurance was given by Bautista to Second District Rep. Vanessa Aumentado and other officials at the House of Representatives after the neophyte lawmaker inquired on the release of the financial aid.
Vaness had noted that some 149,896 families in Bohol have not received the assistance, over eight months after the storm struck Bohol in December. (R. Tutas)