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One of the recipients of the ESA checks her name listed on the payroll during the pay-out on October 6, 2016 held at Diatagon Gymnasium, Lianga, Surigao del Sur.

SURIGAO DEL SUR- The 470 lumad families in Surigao del Sur who recently returned to their communities after a year of staying in the evacuation centers received cash assistance amounting to Php10,000 through the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Caraga.

Headed by Protective Services Unit-Institutional Development Division Chief Angelita B. Amista, DSWD-Caraga staff facilitated the distribution of the cash assistance to the families. The pay-out was held on October 6-7, 2016 at the municipalities of Lianga, San Agustin, Marihatag, Tago, and San Miguel. Provincial Governor Vicente T. Pimentel and Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer May Navidad Salinas were also present during the ESA distribution.

The said assistance, amounting to Php4.7 million in toto, is for the families to repair their houses that were already dilapidated and destroyed after being evacuated for a year.

Regional Director Minda B. Brigoli said that the provision of ESA is one of DSWD’s commitments for the lumad evacuees.

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DSWD-Caraga staff (in violet blouse) hands the Php10,000 cash to one of the ESA beneficiaries (in blue and white stripes) after she presented the required documents and valid IDs.

The ESA program is the provision of emergency “self-build” shelter assistance through limited materials or financial assistance to augment resources of affected families who opted not to be transferred to a resettlement site to enable them to purchase materials for their damaged houses.

“Kuyog man jud ang DSWD nga nag-validate sa ilang mga komunidad ug puy-anan kung diin atong nakita nga kinahanaglan jud nila nga ayuhon kay kasagaran nangaguba na (DSWD participated in validating the status of their houses and communities and during the validation we saw their need to repair their shelters because most are already destroyed),” said Brigoli.

“Kalipay nato nga sila nakabalik na. Ang ila madawat sa ESA mamahimong magamit ni nila nga sila nga makasugod pagbalik (We are happy that finally they have returned to their communities. The cash assistance that they will receive through ESA will be used by them to start anew),” she added.

As of date, the DSWD has already provided Php16 million worth of assistance for the lumad evacuees in the said province. The DSWD’s assistance given are in the forms of family food packs, non-food items, food-for-work program, medical assistance, psycho-social activities, and ESA program.###(Social Marketing Unit/DSWD Field Office Caraga)