Palawan News file photo.

The Palawan Provincial Board on Tuesday passed a P156 million financial assistance budget to families affected by typhoon Odette or a cash aid amounting to P5,000 per family.

The amount is an augmentation to the previously released P155 million that Governor Jose Alvarez requested from the board, which aims to fairly distribute cash assistance from the provincial government through realignment of some 2022 funds.

Provincial Administrator Atty. Jay Bolusa said the first P155 million approved by the body for the same assistance will not be enough for all families affected by the typhoon.

“This [previously approved] amount will not be sufficient to cover all the beneficiaries. The local finance committee will still be asking for the realignment of our infra funds for 2022 for this purpose,” Bolusa said.

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“But it is good that other funds are downloaded by other agencies to the municipalities so that we can spread our resources – whoever has been paid by the DSWD and whoever will be catered by the funds to the municipalities. [Remaining beneficiaries] will be the target for our next supplemental, so that everybody can get a fair share of the financial assistance from whatever source it will be, this is for all,” he added.

Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) chief Abigail Ablana said there are 64,356 affected families with partially and totally damaged houses.

“That will need an amount of P321 million in total. That P157 million available is slightly more than half of the P321 million. We have to wait with the beneficiaries who will be catered by the municipalities for us not to duplicate assistance kasi lahat po ay financial assistance,” Ablana explained.

Board Member Leoncio Ola, chair of the committee on appropriations also reminded PSWDO to be prepared for some questions from some Palaweños who were not included in the master list of affected families.

“Dapat nakahanda ang ating PSDWO dahil pag-release definitely maraming kapit-bahay na hindi nasira ang bahay. May [ilan sa mga] barangay na hindi affected ng bagyo nagkataon na matibay lang ang bahay nila. May mga tao na pwedeng ganon kaya you have to be prepared kung anong isasagot ninyo,” Ola said.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.