ILOILO City – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) denied reports it was running out of funds for families affected by Boracay Island’s six-month closure.
“DSWD has enough funds,” said Regional Director Rebecca Geamala.
DSWD is taking charge of the needs of the informal sector in Boracay (vendors, masseurs, drivers, etc.). Among others, it has been releasing transportation allowance to those wanting to leave the island.
As of 9 p.m. on Monday (April 30), DSWD already released P5 million in transportation assistance to 2,251 displaced workers, said Geamala.
“Mali ang information na walang pera ang DSWD. Tuloy po ang payout,” she stressed.
On April 28 and April 30 the release of funds was momentarily halted because DSWD conducted an assessment, explained Geamala.
“But even then, our operations continued. We entertained clients, interviewed and assessed them,” she said.
DSWD Region 6 also proposed to its central office a P524-million cash-for-work and Sustainable Livelihood Program among other DSWD services to those displaced by Boracay’s closure.
“Giving transportation allowance to workers affected by Boracay’s closure is the first step our agency is taking to help them,” said Geamala.
The lowest a worker could get is P1,500 and the maximum is P5,000. The amount would depend on how far the displaced worker lives from Boracay.
Once a displaced worker reaches home, he or she would get referrals from his or her place’s social welfare office.
“They will be provided with support services,” said Geamala./PN