TACLOBAN CITY- More than 5,000 families coming from the five towns in Eastern Samar were identified to receive cash grants from the government with the United Nations Children Fund(Unicef) as the funding source of this latest financial assistance for victims of supertyphoon Yolanda. The beneficiaries of this cash assistance, dubbed as “unconditional cash transfer,” are to be given to 5,801 families from the towns of Balangkayan, Hernani, Mercedes, Salcedo and Guiuan, where the program had its launching on July 30.
The five towns were considered to be the hardest hit areas in Eastern Samar when Yolanda pummeled the region on November 8, 2013. “Definitely, this will be a big help to the families hit by Yolanda,” Nestor Ramos, regional director of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said. According to Ramos, the identified families are to receive P4, 400 for the next six months starting this month and to end on December, 2014. It was learned from the DSWD regional director that it was the Unicef which identified the towns as beneficiaries of the program which it funded. For this unconditional cash transfer, the Unicef allocated P8.10 million to be given to the 2,954 families in Guiuan; 613 in Balangkayan; 596 in Hernani; 327 in Mercedes and 1,311 in Salcedo.
These towns were considered to be the hardest hit areas of Eastern Samar during Yolanda’s onslaught more than eight months ago. These families are also beneficiaries of 4Ps or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, a program of the national government designed to help improve the living conditions of the so-called “poorest of the poor” of the country. The 5,801 families who will enjoy the unconditional cash assistance from the Unicef is part of the 28,827 4Ps beneficiaries across Eastern Samar.
The beneficiaries of the 4Ps receive cash assistance from the government worth P500 to P2,800, depending on the number of children whose ages are 17 below.
“The challenge of this program is for the families to really use the money for their own good and not for some personal gains like gambling, “Ramos said.
Ramos said that this Unicef assisted program was dubbed as “unconditional” as they have no obligations to meet unlike the regular cash transfer of the government or the 4Ps. The beneficiaries of the 4Ps are to meet certain conditions like pregnant women must avail pre and post-natal care; parents to attend family development sessions; children receives regularly preventive health checkups and deworming pills twice a year and children of qualified ages must enroll in schools and maintain class attendance of at least 85 percent a month. (JOEY A. GABIETA)