Promised aid may not reach some Odette-hit families in Cebu amid low funds — DSWD

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 6) — Some families hit by Typhoon Odette in Cebu may not receive the promised assistance of ₱5,000 from the government.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said Wednesday it has insufficient funds to cover all 475,022 affected families in the province.

President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the government to provide cash aid and shelter assistance to displaced households after Odette wreaked havoc in parts of Visayas and Mindanao last month.

"We were actually shocked when we received the instructions. Where we will source the ₱5,000?" said DSWD-7 Regional Director for Operations Shalaine Lucero.

She also pointed out that the list of recipients in the province has yet to be completed.

Across Central Visayas, at least 975,158 families were identified as victims of the typhoon. This means the department would need about ₱4 billion for the aid, Lucero said.

Due to the limited funds, the DSWD-7 said it will prioritize indigent families, as well as those whose houses incurred heavy damage.

"We will start with those who [need] it the most," Lucero said, while asking local chief executives to also trim down the list of beneficiaries.

Talisay City, Cebu Mayor Gerald Anthony "Samsam" Gullas said they have received some ₱20 million from the government, which would only be enough for 4,000 out of 90,000 affected families.

In Liloan town, around 31,000 households are reeling from the impact of Odette, yet the cash assistance provided could only cover 800, Mayor Christina Garcia-Frasco said.

Frasco, who leads the League of Municipalities of the Philippines - Cebu Chapter, has sought help from the DSWD for the government to disburse additional funds.

The Budget Department has released ₱2 billion in financial aid for typhoon-stricken areas.

CNN Philippines' stringer Dale Israel contributed to this report.