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Regional Updates (11/19/20)

Police, NBI asked to go after scammers using typhoon victims

A lawmaker on Thursday asked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Philippine National Police (PNP) to go after people organizing bogus donation drives supposedly to assist victims of typhoons that recently pummeled many areas in Luzon. Samar 1st District Rep. Edgar Mary S. Sarmiento, chair of the House transport committee, made the call as he reported that a group claiming to represent his office has been “asking money from friends, supporters and even businessmen from the transport industry purportedly as part of his fund-raising campaign to help the typhoon victims.” He said the names of other politicians, entertainment personalities, and prominent members of the business community have also been used. “While we are appealing for help for tens of thousands of families who lost their homes, properties and the lives of their loved ones, we should make sure that our donations do not end up in the hands of these unscrupulous syndicates who are preying on the misfortunes of other people,” he said. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

2,800 Marawi families still in temporary shelters

AROUND 2,800 families displaced by the Marawi siege are still living in temporary housing three years after it ended, according to Senator Risa N. Hontiveros-Baraquel, citing data from the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD). Ms. Hontivero-Baraquel on Thursday sponsored the P5.448 billion budget of the department for 2021. Of this, P415 million will fund DHSUD’s operations and P2 billion for the National Housing Authority (NHA), among other attached agencies. The senator said the DHSUD had targeted to provide a total of 4,800 transitory housing, but was only able to complete 2,800. She noted all those residing in the temporary shelters are provided regular assistance. “The secretary (of DHSUD) says the accomplishment rate, as of today, ay nandun sa mga (is at) 20-30% with the balance scheduled to be completed by December 2021,” she also said. She added the department is working to complete 2,000 permanent housing by Dec. 2020. The five-month conflict in Marawi City that started in May 2017, displaced at least 200,000 individuals, according to a United Nations report. — Charmaine A. Tadalan

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