Disaster survivors group People Surge filed a petition over the long undistributed Yolanda assistance last December 3 at the Presidential Management’s Staff (PMS) regional office in Candahug, Palo, Leyte. The said petition was signed by two hundred government employees of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Department of Education (DepEd) Tacloban City Division.
Since October this year, People Surge conducted series of consultation with the government employees in Eastern Visayas regarding the undistributed Presidential Social Fund (PSF), albeit approved by the PMS Central Office itself since January 2014.
PMS Regional Director Evelyn Clarin claimed that the distribution delay is due to the inefficiency of some agencies in Central and Western Visayas to submit liquidation reports as mandated by the Commission on Audit (COA). Yet again, People Surge judged this to be nothing but a vindication to their negligence.
“But for Yolanda victims, the COA requirements for the disbursement of the PSF has become far too tedious, countermanding the entire purpose of the PSF – to serve as immediate aid for Yolanda victims a year after the strongest typhoon made landfall,” People Surge Chairperson Efleda Bautista said.
The two billion pesos Presidential Social Fund is supposed to cover 64, 242 government employees of different agencies who will receive P100,000.00 and P30,000.00 for those who fall under totally and partially damaged houses respectively. As a result to the government’s criminal neglect among their very own employees, most of them have been subjected to large housing loans. Many of them have also claimed that they are falsely categorized under partially damaged houses instead of totally damaged houses.
The DENR Employees Association have also expressed, during their consultation with People Surge, dismay over the discretionary character of PSF which is putting them in a status of uncertainty. People Surge early exposed that the PSF is a discretionary fund of the President.
The disaster survivors group is yet to continue and expand its consultations to other government agencies and file more complaints before the PMS office.
“Today, People Surge promises to expand the petition in order to include more government agencies- with emphasis to teachers under DepEd who forms more than half of the total number of targeted number of beneficiaries of the PSF,” Bautista concluded.