MANILA — In light of the succeeding emergencies and calamities in the country, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) on Monday donated PHP2 million from their budget to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista expressed his gratitude when he received the cheque donation during a ceremonial turn-over at the COMELEC office in Intramuros, Manila.
“There will be transparency in the handling of the donation to ensure that it goes to the intended recipients,” Bautista said.
COMELEC said the fund will benefit those affected by recent calamities.
The department has poured financial assistance to the victims of the Mindanao quakes late last year and victims of Taal Volcano’s phreatic eruptions.
In their latest report, DSWD has provided a total of PHP13,023,728 worth of assistance for the victims in communities of the Calabarzon region.
There were 124,764 families or 464,728 persons recorded as victims of the calamity. Of the number, 19,131 families or 66,989 persons are taking temporary shelter in 415 evacuation centers in the region.
Most of the victims, however, left the government-staged evacuation camps as they are ready to rebuild their lives.
Victim Remia Cacao, 54, in a report released by the DSWD, said she and her family returned home in San Nicolas the day after the local government allowed the residents to do so.
They said while they were saddened upon seeing the ashes covering their roof and the rest of their barangay, especially for families with heavily damaged houses, but were grateful for their safety.
“Kami ay nagpapasalamat dahil kahit papaano, ito lang ang nangyari sa amin. Ang mahalaga ay ligtas kaming lahat at nakabalik nang maayos dito sa amin (It is a sigh of relief that this is only what happened to us. What’s important is we are safe and we are back in good health here),” Remia said.
As they slowly rebuild their lives and get back on their feet, the family said they have learned their lesson to be more prepared for future emergencies.
“May nakahanda na kaming gamit para sakaling kailangang umalis, mayroon na kaming madadala (We have already prepared our stuff so when an emergency comes up, we are ready to leave with our necessities),” she added. (PNA)