ORMOC CITY – Atty. Francis Pepito, city administrator, said it was the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) regional office that made the botched Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) masterlist, contrary to previous announcements by the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSDWO) here that they prepared the list and did not even want it made public.
“Ang naghimo anang masterlist ang DSWD region”, he said.
Pepito’s statement, however, contradicts that of DSWD regional director Nestor Ramos, who said the reason why Ormoc has yet to get the ESA is that the CSWDO has not yet submitted to them the proposal, the masterlist and other documentary requirements to avail of the P 680-million funds earmarked for the city.
Ramos said this in front of a city council session last March, where CSWD officer Marietta Legaspi was present, with barangay chairmen in attendance.
To recall, Ramos’ invitation to the council even irked Mayor Edward Codilla, who called councilor Vincent Rama “way respeto” for inviting the regional director without his permission or forehand knowledge. Rama, committee chairman on social welfare and development, on the other hand, said he only wanted everything about the ESA to be transparent.
Atty. Pepito, whose interview with Power FM here was aired twice, said that the DSWD regional office made the “masterlist” and based it on the Disaster Assistance Family Access Card (DAFAC) that was distributed to all families victimized by Yolanda.
He also skirted around the question about the city’s asking for a written approval from Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, on the proposal to distribute P 10,000.00 to victims with partially damaged houses, and just P 15,000.00 to those with totally damaged houses, instead of the whole P 30,000.00.
The rationale of the proposal is to “accommodate all Yolanda victims”, which by the CSWDO’s own count through the encoded DAFACs in their office, exceeded the 42,000 that the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabitation and Recovery (OPARR) asked Congress to fund. The OPARR, on the other hand, based the figure on Ormoc’s own Damage and Needs Assessment (DANA) that they submitted to the national office.
The expanded list of 52,000, however, when made public last week, proved questionable, with the names of rich people included, and many of those qualified under the guidelines excluded.
“Tungod sa kagubot, mi-enter na ta (the City)”, and have asked the help of the barangay officials to validate the list, he said.
Pepito added that another meeting on the ESA would be held on Monday, April 20, to interpret whether a written approval from Soliman is really needed.
He said that as a lawyer, his interpretation of the guidelines shows the regional director is already armed with the approving power. If he signs the required Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) detailing the proposal, then it is a go.
The city’s seeming reluctance to get a hard and clear written approval from the Secretary was not clearly explained.
However, in an interview by EV MAIL Tacloban correspondent Ted Marcos with Regional Director Nestor Ramos on the snag on the disbursement of the ESA fund for Ormoc City, he informed that the proposal to cut to P15,000 by the Ormoc City Hall of the ESA fund from P30,000 to each beneficiaries with totally damaged houses was already sent to DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman for approval, but he is still waiting for the resolutions of the Ormoc barangays affected and the Liga Ng Mga Barangay approving the proposed cut in ESA releases to beneficiaries.
On the other hand, Secretary Corazon Soliman is already apprised of the anomalous listing. She has assured that her office would look into it. “We will look into this,” she tweeted the EV Mail.