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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, November 14, 2013
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Official hits bloated
destruction figures

Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer, Liane Garcia, yesterday said they have discovered that figures of the number of houses destroyed and damaged by super typhoon Yolanda in Negros Occidental from some barangays have been bloated.

This was after the announcement that the provincial government is releasing financial assistance to all those whose houses were destroyed, and that town and city governments would release counterpart assistance for those whose houses were damaged.

Garcia said the bloating of figures will delay the release of assistance to those affected as they will have to validate the reports submitted first.

As of yesterday, PSWDO figures based on reports from the towns and cities in Negros Occidental hit by Yolanda showed 11,083 houses damaged and 42,955 destroyed.

The PSWDO report also showed that 79,478 families or 375,222 Negrenses have been affected by “Yolanda”.

However, Garcia said a review of the figures submitted per barangay show that some were bloated and did not match the reality on the ground.

Because of the large number of houses destroyed according to reports, the provincial government had to reduce the amount to be given to the owners from the usual P5,000 to P3,000, Garcia pointed out.

They have received reports that some daycare and health workers have been threatened by some barangay officials that if they do not include the names of people they want to be placed on the lists, even if their houses were not destroyed, their honoraria could be cut off, Garcia said.

“We have a responsibility to serve our people, everyone should cooperate and not tell lies,” Garcia said.

It also appears that some outgoing barangay officials are lazy about helping in the aid work, while some of the incoming ones are using the relief assistance as if they are part of a victory party, she said.

Provincial Administrator Enrique Pinongan said the P22 million allocated by the provincial government as assistance for those with destroyed houses at P3,000 each will not be enough.

Based on yesterday’s report of 11,083 destroyed houses, the provincial government will need P33.2 million.

Pinongan said they are revalidating the figures on the number of houses destroyed and there is a possibility that they may be reduced, otherwise, the provincial government eill have to increase the amount it is allocating for shelter assistance, he said.

Meanwhile, Provincial Agriculturist Igmedio Tabianan yesterday placed Yolanda’s damage to crops and fisheries in Negros Occidental at P107,166,548, while Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena placed poultry and livestock losses at P54,522,539, for a total of P161,689,087.*CPG

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