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DSWD team checks impact of emergency cash aid on quake-hit residents in Sarangani

Personnel of DSWD Central Office and Field Office-12 interview families from Glan, Sarangani who were affected by the 6.8 magnitude earthquake. The families were provided with cash aid under the Emergency Cash Transfer (ECT) program.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) deployed a disaster team in Glan, Sarangani to check the impact of emergency cash transfer (ECT) on the residents who were affected by the 6.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the province in November 2023.

The ECT impact assessment was led by DSWD Asst. Bureau Director Rey Martija of the Central Office’s Disaster Response Management Bureau (DRMB) in coordination with personnel of Field Office-12 (SOCCSKSARGEN).

The DSWD disaster team on Tuesday (January 30) conducted a series of house-to-house visits and ‘kumustahan’ to the quake-hit victims to evaluate their current status after they were given aid from the agency.

“The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive, as beneficiaries expressed gratitude for the assistance provided by the DSWD,” DRMB Asst. Director Martija said.

According to Asst. Dir. Martija, more than 300 beneficiaries whose houses were damaged were interviewed during the activity.

“The cash transfers were used by the beneficiaries to rebuild their damaged houses and to purchase essential needs, including medicines, school supplies, and groceries,” the DSWD official pointed out.

Some of the beneficiaries also used the cash assistance to as capital for their small business, Asst. Dir. Martija noted.

Families with totally damaged houses were given Php27,180.00 while Php13,590.00 was allocated for those with partially damaged houses.

As of January 31,the DSWD Field Office – 12 has served 5,211 families disbursing over Php76.80 million. The ECT payout in the region started last January 18.

Among the DSWD personnel who accompanied Asst. Dir. Martija in the “kumustahan” sessions were Ms. Maria Theresa Bas-Pardo, Niccon P. Quieta, Neil Mendoza and Junrey Zarate from the DRMB-DSWD Central Office, and the DSWD Field Office 12’s Disaster Response Management Division (DRMD) led by Naira Aratuc.

The ECT is an adaptive strategy for bridging the gaps between immediate disaster relief, humanitarian response, and early recovery support through outright cash aid for disaster-affected families in areas under a state of calamity.

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