A family riding a motorcycle passes through a small house that appear to have been swept away from its original position by floodwaters in Palawan. (Photo by Allen Joshua Rapues)

The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) has pledged PHP100 million worth of assistance for each typhoon-affected province.

Secretary Eduardo del Rosario said the assistance may be used by the local government units to procure construction materials and repair severely damaged houses during the first quarter of 2022.

“We are hastening efforts to immediately assist families in typhoon-hit regions, especially those whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Odette. We are also stepping up coordination with other government agencies to ensure faster delivery of relief and financial assistance to regions that were battered by the typhoon,” del Rosario said in a statement on Tuesday.

The DHSUD has already started sending out relief assistance to typhoon victims.

In coordination with the United States Agency for International Development and International Organization for Migration, the agency distributed 5,598 shelter-grade tarpaulin sheets for use of evacuees in Cebu, Bohol, Southern Leyte, and the Caraga Region.

Along with the Philippine Coast Guard, 14,000 more shelter-grade tarpaulin sheets, 250 modular tents for evacuation centers, and 1,310 solar lamps were likewise sent to affected areas.

Another 700 Shelter Repair Kits, which contain corrugated galvanized iron sheets, lumber, plywood, tarps, nails, and carpentry tools, were sent to Caraga on Monday while 300 more kits are slated to be delivered in Maasin City on Friday, Dec. 31.

The DHSUD said 97,500 families from Regions 4-B, 6, 7, 8, 10 and Caraga, will also benefit from the PHP487.5-million worth of financial assistance.

Each family will get PHP5,000 cash.

“Rest assured that the government is doing the best it can to help all affected families as soon as possible,” del Rosario noted.

On top of this, the Home Development Mutual (Pag-IBIG) Fund, DHSUD’s key shelter agency, has allocated PHP5 billion worth of calamity loans for its “Odette”-hit members.

Eligible members may borrow up to 80 percent of their total Pag-IBIG savings, with an interest rate of only 5.95 percent, the lowest in the market.

The loans are payable for up to three years with a grace period of two months.

Over the weekend, del Rosario personally led ocular inspections and damage assessments in Surigao City, Siargao Island, Cebu province, and Dinagat Islands.

DSHUD’s initial assessments showed at least 506,4040 residential structures were either damaged or destroyed; 339,327 houses partially damaged; and 167,077 infrastructures totally destroyed in Regions 4B (Mimaropa), 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. (PNA)