What government assistance you can claim after a natural calamity?

Financial aid and assistance for Natural Calamities

It is important that we know how to demand or ask for the natural calamities claim provided by the government so that welfare will not be compromised. This BRIA Homes’ article aims to provide that by giving you pointers on where and how to get government assistance and natural calamities claims.

Read Also: 10 Tips to Prepare for Strong Typhoons

A Natural Calamity-Prone Country

The Philippines is one of the most hazardous risk countries. In a study conducted by World Risk Index in 2012, the Philippines ranks third in terms of vulnerability to disaster risk and natural hazards. The reason for this vulnerability is that the country is situated within the Pacific Ring of Fire, a place where there are large tectonic activities in the form of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. Besides this, we are also located within the Pacific Typhoon Belt. According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), an average of 20 Tropical Cyclones pass through our country every year. Both of these natural calamities deal extensive damage to properties and livelihood or, worse, even lead to loss of life. During such critical moments, the government ensures that it provides aid and support for our well-being and safety. However, the problem is that there is not much information on how to get government assistance for natural calamities.

How can the government assist us during the trying times of a natural calamity?

The forms of government assistance may come from either the National Government or the Local Government Units. The support they give mostly involves financial recovery and rehabilitation assistance. Its objectives are to stabilize affected families and individuals after a natural disaster. There are many government agencies wherein you can apply for government assistance. In this article, assistance in the form of livelihood, housing, and OFW support will be featured.

1. Department of Social Welfare and Development or DSWD’s Core Shelter Assistance Project (CSAP)

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is the most active government agency involving assistance. They implement a lot of assistance programs under their Disaster Response and Management Division (DRMD). One of which is the Core Shelter Assistance Project (CSAP) which aims to provide new shelters for family victims with houses that were damaged or destroyed by natural calamities. The beneficiaries are prioritized to low-income families who do not have any resources to repair or reconstruct their homes. According to DSWD’s official website, the following qualifications are the following

What are the Qualifications to file for this Natural Calamity Claim under DSWD?

  • Families whose houses have been totally destroyed by a man-made or natural disaster
  • Not a recipient of any other housing assistance from any other individual groups or agency government or non-government for the disaster in question.
  • Families included in the LGU master list based on the issued DSWD Disaster Assistance Family Access Card (DAFAC)

Meanwhile, other requirements and documentation will be supplemented by your Local Government Units (LGUs) wherein you will coordinate to receive aid.

2. Emergency Shelter Assistance Program

Another program related to CSAP is the Emergency Shelter Assistance Program (ESA) whose objective is to provide financial assistance or materials needed for rebuilding or reconstruction of the houses of family-victims of natural calamities. For this program, the following qualifications and documents are as follows.

What are the Qualifications to file for this Natural Calamity Claim?

  • House owner with either totally or partially damaged house;
  • Not recipient of any shelter assistance from other government agencies, non-government organizations, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders.
  • Families included in the LGU master list based on the issued DSWD-Disaster Assistance Family Access Card (DAFAC).

Documentary Requirements:

  • Accomplished ESA Application Form which shall serve as the basis for the master listing;
  • Barangay Certification on the classification of damage – either partially or totally damaged houses;
  • Photocopy of ID (any Government issued ID); and
  • Certificate of Indigency.

3. Cash-for-Work and Food-for-Work Program

There is also the Cash-for-Work Program (CFW) and Food-for-Work Program (FFW), which are temporary employment schemes that would require you to participate in community rehabilitation activities in exchange for a natural calamities claim.

Psychosocial First Aid (PFA) is a program involving psychological interventions for victims of trauma brought on by calamities. Most of these programs, especially the CSAP, CFW, and FFW, had a set of criteria and eligibility requirements prior to claiming assistance. The DSWD’s official website enumerated the beneficiaries and documentary requirements for this assistance:

What are the Qualifications to file for this Natural Calamity Claim?

  • Poor families as identified under the DSWD Listahanan;
  • Poor families excluded from the DSWD Listahanan as assessed by the LSWDO;
  • Indigenous People (IP);
  • Families with vulnerable members such as Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), Senior Citizens, Solo Parents, etc.

Meanwhile, documentary requirements shall be taken care of by your Local Government Unit, wherein you are expected to coordinate to get this natural calamity claim.

A Natural Calamity Claim Under the Department of Agriculture

Another government agency that can be approached is the Department of Agriculture. However, this agency caters more to agricultural workers and their livelihoods that were affected by a natural calamity.

Survival and Recovery Assistance Program (SURE) for Affected Farmers and Fishermen

The Department implements the Survival and Recovery Assistance Program (SURE) that allows farmers and fishermen to loan up to P25,000 without interest and collateral. Its objective is to mitigate the damage brought by natural calamities in the farming and fisheries sector.

The program was last implanted in 2021 for the agricultural workers affected by Typhoon Odette. The SURE Assistance Program is only eligible for small and marginal farmers that were affected by natural or man-made calamities; for further information, please access the Department of Agriculture’s official website.

As you can see, the agricultural sector is one of the most vulnerable sectors that are easily damaged by natural calamities or man-made calamities through climate change. Follow the link below if you are curious to know the effects of Climate Change on Philippine Agriculture.

Read also: How does Climate Change Affect Philippine Agriculture

The Department of Agriculture, through the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation, also has the Agrarian Production Credit Program and Credit Assistance Program for Program Beneficiaries Development (APCP CAP-PBD). The program provides crop/livelihood insurance to farmers and fishermen. The insurance policy covers the loss or damage of the affected livelihood due to natural calamities (e.g., typhoons, earthquakes, floods etc.). These programs just show how much the government prioritizes the welfare of farmers who are the most vulnerable sector in our society. You may view other programs that focus on the welfare of farmers and consumers at the link below.

Read also: Government’s Programs for the Welfare of Farmers and Consumers

A Natural Calamity Claim Under the National Housing Authority

National Housing Authority (NHA) also has the Housing Assistance Programs for Calamity Victims. The program’s objective is to provide housing for the poor and marginalized families who are victims of natural calamities (e.g. typhoons, earthquakes, landslides etc.) and in dire need of permanent settlement in a more safe and secure location. In case the family beneficiaries are not considered within a danger zone, the program also has Housing Material Assistance (HOMA) that involves the procurement of renovation and rebuilding materials for the damaged home of the beneficiary.  

The same government agency also has the Special Emergency Housing Assistance Program or EHAP. This is a special financial assistance program of the agency that provides financial assistance of up to P5,000 for beneficiary families. Like the SURE Assistance Program, the EHAP was also implemented last year after the wake of Typhoon Odette.

Welfare Assistance Program (WAP) for Calamity Stricken Overseas Filipino Workers

Lastly, for Filipinos working abroad, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) also provides financial assistance through their Welfare Assistance Program (WAP). This program is for OFWs facing a natural or man-made calamity. The cash assistance involving natural calamities is worth P1000. Only active members of OWWA may apply for this aid. The OWWA’s official website enumerated the following documents required for this program which are:

What are the Qualifications to file for this Natural Calamity Claim under OWWA?

  • If the Claimant is the OFW, you must provide any Valid Identity Document ID (Valid ID)
  • If the Claimant is the Beneficiary of the OFW in the Philippines:
    • Valid ID of the OFW
    • Proof of relationship with the OFW
      • For the spouse of the OFW 
        • A marriage contract is needed
      • For the child of the OFW (above 18 years old)
        • Child’s Birth Certificate
        • Valid Copy of Passport and Valid ID of the OFW
        • Letter of Authorization from the OFW
          • Note: Signature from the Valid ID, Passport, and Letter of Authorization must be the same
      • For the child of the OFW (below 18 years old)
        • Child’s Birth Certificate
        • Letter of Affidavit of the Guardians
        • Valid Copy of Passport and Valid ID of the OFW
        • Letter of Authorization from the OFW
          • Note: Signature from the Valid ID, Passport, and Letter of Authorization must be the same

Other members or family members may also claim the OWWA Calamity Assistance and you may visit OWWA’s official website for more information on the necessary documents you need as a beneficiary.

As you can see, these programs are only some of the many Philippine Government Assistance Programs for Calamity. There are also other available programs like the SSS or Pag-Ibig Calamity Loan, which was tackled in the previous articles. These calamity assistance funds play a large role in stabilizing and providing relief for families affected by natural calamities. Now that you know how to get government assistance for natural calamities and have been planning to avail of a natural calamities claim make sure to visit the official website of the government agencies featured in this article so that you can prepare and gather all the necessary information and documents.

Lastly, given the increasing danger of natural calamities, it is becoming increasingly important to look for safe yet affordable homes. Fortunately, BRIA Homes meet these criteria as they bring quality yet affordable places of settlement for Filipino families! Make sure to also BRIA Homes’ official website and follow them on their social media pages! 

Written by Jade Caputolan