TACLOBAN CITY—There is a trace of bitterness in the words of Jet Cananes, 40, a public school teacher in Palo, Leyte, as he wonders why until now he, along with his colleagues, has not yet received the full amount of the promised housing fund for education employees who were hit by Super Typhoon “Yolanda” in November 2013.
“My house is not yet completely fixed two years after Yolanda. Considering our economic condition, we still need more money for our housing needs. I hope that the housing fund promised to us will be completely given the soonest time,’’ said Cananes, whose town was one of the hard-hit areas of Yolanda.
In January 2014, the national government through the Presidential Management Staff Secretary Julia Andrea Abad, daughter of Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, issued a guideline for the release of the housing reimbursement assistance taken from President’s Social Fund which range from P100,000 in cash for the repair of totally or heavily damaged houses and P30,000 for partially damaged.
The fund is said to cover education employees 27 Department of Education divisions in Regions IV-A, IV-B, V, VI, VII, VIII, X, and XI who were both hit by powerful Bohol earthquake in October and super typhoon Yolanda in November 2013.
Cananes recalled that they, under the first batch, only received the first tranche of the financial assistance sometime in September 2015 after complying its many requirements, while others who are not yet included in the first batch are also waiting for their first release.
“It is disheartening to note that the teachers were not spared the criminal neglect of this government. It can be recalled that the only ‘relief’ that they received two weeks after Yolanda were beauty kits—lipstick and make-up”—not a single centavo nor a single grain was received by the devastated teachers from this government,’’ said Dr. Efleda Bautista, retired educator and convenor of People Surge, the alliance of storm victims in Eastern Visayas.