Mankayan, Benguet – The sun was up and the breeze was as cool as ever as we traveled through the quiet town of Mankayan, Benguet. It has been months since Typhoon Lawin hit the Philippines and struck the North. But despite the action taken by the Department and the Local Government Units and with the impact of the typhoon, assistance to the victims still need to be provided.

On 22 and 23 December 2016, while most people are busy doing their last minute Christmas shopping, personnel from the Department of Social Welfare and Development – Cordillera Administrative Region handed out the Emergency Shelter Assistance in the form of cash assistance to the victims of Typhoon Lawin in the different barangays in Mankayan, Benguet.

All eligible households who were validated last October are qualified to receive five thousand pesos (PhP 5,000) for repairs of both partially and totally damaged houses.

Initially, the Department identified 103 households eligible for the assistance. However, upon validation, there were 20 households who waived since they are capable to finance the repair of their damaged houses.

83 households from 10 barangays in Mankayan have received the assistance. However, serving this number of households was not easy for the DSWD personnel.

“We have called all the beneficiaries to claim the assistance during a pay-out activity but not all of them were able to attend. Since it was Christmas time, it was timely to deliver a simple gift from the Department to the victims”, Project Development Officer Clarissa Padio shared.

Personnel from Regional Program Management Office of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program went door to door to reach 5 households in the different far flung barangays to personally hand out the cash assistance to the beneficiaries.

“These barangays were separated by mountains and some of these are only accessible by foot. There was even a confusion on the address of one of the beneficiaries since it was listed as Sapid, Mankayan and this municipality has three barangays named Sapid. The trek going to the different houses was and the path was tricky, and given that it was a mining capital, the roads were muddy, slippery, and unpaved. But these did not stop us from delivering the assistance”, says Pantawid Pamilya Project Development Officer Claudine Cosi.

As of 25 January 2017, a total of 1,069 of 1,077 households have been provided with Php 5,000 Emergency Shelter assistance in the Province of Benguet. Households who have not received the assistance may still claim it until 31 January 2017 at the DSWD-CAR Training Center and look for Mr. Ronilo Flores, Team Leader for Benguet Province. #DSWD-CAR, SOCIAL MARKETING UNIT, Phylein Maria Rosette U. Callangan

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