(Contributed photo)

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) admitted that the processing of cash aid was mishandled, after victims of typhoon Odette raised concerns over being photographed with paper play money and signed a document without receiving the P5,000 financial assistance.

Rodante G. Dulay, regional information officer of DSWD MIMAROPA, on Wednesday, said the incident was an “unfortunate event” and that they are now coordinating with their local representatives to ensure that the processing of calamity assistance would follow proper measures of validation and disbursement.

“Mali ang ginawa ng aming staff na i-photocopy ang pera at ipahawak sa mga benepisyaryo at hindi ito ibigay sa kanila. Nakausap na namin ang aming mga staff ukol dito at sinisiguro naming na hindi na ito mauulit,” Dulay said in a text message to Palawan News.

On Monday, locals who aired their concerns over Facebook said they were “visited” by individuals who claimed they were from DSWD conducting validation after raising the issue, fearing of not being processed with their calamity assistance claims.

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Dulay said they are now looking into the issue.

“‘Yong tungkol sa pagpunta ngayon ng staff at pagtatanong, we’ll check on that. Kausapin ko lang ang staff namin sa Palawan,” he said.

He also assured that the financial assistance under its Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program will be carried out according to the orders given by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, which reiterated fast processing of assistance to the victims of the recent typhoon.

“Sa kabilang banda, sinisiguro din namin na lahat ng aming na-assess para mabigyan ng cash-assistance noong araw na iyon ay nabayaran na ng P5,000,” Dulay said.

Citing the need for recovery, the government’s social welfare department stressed that timely delivery of social services was prioritized for the locals who had been heavily affected by the typhoon.

“Nauunawaan namin ang pinsalang dala ng bagyong Odette at ang hirap ng mga kababayan natin sa Palawan sa pagbangon mula sa pananalanta nito. Batid natin na ang kailangan ngayon ng mga taga-Araceli ay agarang tulong mula sa pamahalaan,” he added.

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