Aquino on ESA anomalies: ‘They will pay the price of their misdeeds’

President Benigno Aquino III leads the inaugural rites for the Iloilo Convention Center (ICC) yesterday, Sept. 14.
President Benigno Aquino III leads the inaugural rites for the Iloilo Convention Center (ICC) yesterday, Sept. 14.

President Benigo Aquino III on Monday said people involved in Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) anomalies will pay the price of their misdeeds.

In a press conference after the inauguration of the Iloilo Convention Center, Aquino assured that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) are conducting a thorough investigation to determine who are responsible in abusing the government’s shelter aid program for victims of Typhoon Yolanda in 2013.

“So meron raw mga taong handang mag-execute ng mga affidavit, which will be the basis for the investigation,” Aquino said.

“We’d like to thank the people who came forward to share this information,” the president added.

According to him, “kung merong nagkasala dito ay pananagutin”.

Aquino cited the alleged shaving of P500 from the shelter aid received by the victims in the town of San Dionisio, Iloilo.

Families whose houses were totally damaged receive P30 thousand each while families whose houses were partially damaged receive P10 thousand each.

“Iyong umabot sa kanilang [DSWD,DILG] reports, meron raw fee na chinarge (charge) of about P500 na hindi authorized allegedly to pay for ‘yung meal allowances ‘nung tanod, ‘nung social worker, et cetera, et cetera, e hindi kasama doon sa mekanismo ‘yon at hindi authorized.,” Aquino said.

Recently, hundreds of ESA beneficiaries from San Dionisio trooped to the Iloilo Provincial Capitol to voice out their anger against the implementation of ESA in their town.

Aside from the alleged ESA shaving, other beneficiaries complained that their names were removed from the list.

San Dionisio Mayor Peter Lopez denied all these allegations.

In the town of Estancia Iloilo, some beneficiaries were duped to loan their shelter assistance with 16 percent interest from a financier allegedly recommended by a municipal social welfare and development officer.

Last week, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between the DSWD-6 headed by Regional Director Evelyn Macapobre and DILG-6 represented by Regional Director Anthony Nuyda.

The MOU will establish an independent fact-finding team to monitor the implementation of ESA  for typhoon Yolanda-affected families in Western Visayas. The team will be led by the Ugnayan ng Barangay at Simbahan (UBAS). IMT