CORDILLERA ADMINISTRATIVE REGION – A total of 3,979 individuals affected by the onslaught of TY Ompong and Rosita in the region, will be receiving livelihood assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).

This livelihood assistance is a Php 20,000.00 worth of Seed Capital Fund (SCF) grant in support to the initiative of providing start-up capital for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) for the establishment or rehabilitation of their livelihoods.

In 2018, the Department has already distributed livelihood assistance to more than 300 IDPs affected by the typhoon resulting to their loss of livelihood in Itogon. The release of assistance to the remaining 446 IDPs of Apayao, Ifugao, and Mountain Province will be within the month of May, while the 3,533 IDPs of Benguet and Kalinga will be after the Commission on Election’s (COMELEC) election ban.

The ban on disbursements from March 29 to May 12 aims to prevent the misuse of government funds to sway voters in the May 13 midterm elections. The ban covers the release, disbursement, or expenditure of public funds.

On April 4, 2019, DSWD received a resolution from COMELEC approving the petition of the Department for the authority to continue its ongoing disaster relief, early recovery and rehabilitation efforts, and to undertake possible relief, early recovery and rehabilitation efforts during the election period.

However, during the 45-day election ban period, the total disbursements for the program should not exceed 25% of the 2019 annual budget of SLP, which amounts to PhP12, 537,428.50 that could only cover available checks for the IDPs of Apayao, Ifugao, and Mountain Province.

Thus, disbursement of available checks of assistance for Benguet and Kalinga will be on hold since it sums to PhP70, 660, 000.00 that exceeds the 25% limitation of COMELEC’s election ban.

“We seek for your understanding during this period, rest assured that after the lifting of the election ban all available checks for IDPs of Benguet and Kalinga will be disbursed,” said Director Janet P. Armas. #DSWD-CAR, Social Marketing Unit, Babble Mae Gorio

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