Dead beneficiaries of Odette cash aid spark DSWS probe

·2 min read

MARK, a resident of Barangay Poblacion Pardo in Cebu City, was shocked to find out that his late father and brother were set to receive cash aid from City Hall intended for Typhoon Odette (Rai) victims.

Mark, whose real name has been withheld for security reasons, said his father had died nine years ago while his brother had passed away five years ago, but their names were still in the list of eligible cash aid beneficiaries provided by the Mayor’s Information and Liaison Office (Milo) in Poblacion Pardo.

Due to Mark’s concerns, the Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) in Cebu City is now investigating reports that there were deceased individuals included in the list of beneficiaries of the financial assistance intended for victims of Typhoon Odette.

DSWS head Portia Basmayor told reporters on Tuesday, June 7, 2022, that they are investigating the issue that surfaced in Barangay Poblacion-Pardo.

Basmayor added that they already had a meeting with the barangay officials together with the Mayor’s Information and Liaison Officers (Milo) to determine the root of the issue.

According to Basmayor, the listing of beneficiaries of the P5,000 cash aid was conducted by barangay officials and Milo.

But Archie Araw-Araw, Barangay Poblacion Pardo chief, claimed on his Facebook account on June 4, that the DSWS allegedly did not follow and instead altered the list of cash aid beneficiaries made by the barangay.

“Ang maong anomaliya nag sugod human wala sunda ug gi- usab ang atong listahan nga gi submit sa DSWS ug nagbuhat sila og ilahang listahan nga diin naapil ang mga pangalan sa mga patay,” Araw-Araw said in his FB post.

Basmayor said that after Odette hit Cebu on December 16, 2021, her office created eight teams to validate the names submitted by the barangays.

But since the barangays submitted so many names to their office, the DSWS sought the aid of barangay officials and Milo personnel to validate those in their list, she added.

Basmayor clarified that as long as the persons who were in the list died after, and not before, the typhoon, they could still claim their cash aid.

“Ang katong patay nga after sa (Typhoon) Odette, gibutangan nato og guidelines nga og kung kinsa iyang beneficiary, makakuha siya,” said Basmayor, saying that relatives of beneficiaries who died after the list was made must follow some guidelines before claiming the cash aid.

Basmayor further said that their investigation will determine if the persons listed as beneficiaries had long been dead even before the typhoon hit Cebu.

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