Some 572,024 needy Filipinos have received assistance from the office of Vice President Jejomar Binay since he took office in 2010.
In its fourth year accomplishment report, the Office of the Vice President (OVP) stated that 516,617 disaster survivors were provided food and water during relief operations.
From January to June 2014, the OVP distributed 14,961 packages of relief goods to families affected by fires and flashfloods.
Some 6,555 bags were given to fire victims in Manila, Quezon City, Malabon City, Caloocan City and Taguig City, all in Metro Manila; and in Isla Verde in Davao.
Meanwhile, families in Cebu and Mandaue cities in Cebu whose homes were razed received 2,000 food bags and 5,400 bottles of water.
Another 6,406 bags were distributed to families affected by flashfloods caused by monsoon rains in Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley and Agusan del Sur.
In the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda that hit the Visayas in early November 2013, the Vice President immediately went to the provinces of Capiz and Iloilo to give aid.
The OVP distributed around 20,000 relief bags in the municipalities of Dumarao, Cuartero, Panay, Dao, Roxas City, Ivisan, Tapaz, Dumalag, Sigma and President Roxas in Capiz.
Another 15,000 bags were given to affected residents in Zarraga, Pototan, Barotac Nuevo, Banate, Passi, Lemery, Janiuay, San Dionisio, Lambunao, Concepcion, Estancia and Dumangas in Iloilo.
Additionally, 5,000 bags of relief goods were sent to Bantayan Island in Cebu.
Binay and his staff were also one of the first responders during the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that rocked Cebu and Bohol in October.
The OVP distributed 1,000 food packs and 7,000 bottles of water in Cebu City.
It also handed out 12,000 relief bags and 1,000 gallons of water in Maribojoc, Sagbayan, San Isidro, Baclayon and other affected municipalities in Bohol.
The Vice President also pledged to Bishop Leonardo Medroso of the Archdiocese of Tagbilaran that he would help in his personal capacity in the rehabilitation of heavily-damaged heritage churches in Cebu and Bohol.
He also personally led the OVP in giving aid after typhoons Labuyo and Maring hit various provinces in Luzon.
The OVP handed out 95,938 bags of relief goods to families in Metro Manila, Pangasinan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Zambales, Pampanga, Bulacan, Bataan, Tarlac, Aurora, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal.
Binay’s office also distributed 161,868 bags of food items nationwide in 2012 and 143,397 in 2011.
The OVP also deployed Rescue and Volunteer Teams that conducted simultaneous search, rescue and evacuation operations covering major areas affected by floods in Metro Manila, South Luzon and North Luzon.
In 2013, the Rescue Volunteer Teams from the OVP were able to save, rescue and evacuate more than 793 individuals and 82 families.
The Commission on Audit (COA) lauded the OVP’s accomplishments in its social services programs, particularly its relief efforts.
COA also cited Binay’s office for its excellent accounting practices, earning it an award as one of the most outstanding accounting offices among national agencies in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Besides relief operations, the OVP has also been active in providing medical assistance, burial/funeral assistance, medical missions, relief operations, educational assistance and other services that seek to help alleviate the plight of the poor.
In March this year, 7,832 persons benefited from separate medical missions of the OVP in Nueva Vizcaya, Zamboanga and Nueva Ecija.
Some 2,666 beneficiaries were able to take part in simultaneous medical missions in Nueva Vizcaya, including 811 in Bayombong, 482 in Dupax del Norte, 556 in Dupax del Sur, 428 in Kasibu and 389 in Kayapa.
In Zamboanga, the OVP served 419 beneficiaries in Barangay Santa Catalina, 498 in Barangay Talon-Talon, 488 in Barangay Taluksangay, 509 in Barangay Tetuan and 384 in Barangay Tulungatung.
Meanwhile in Nueva Ecija, 563 beneficiaries were served in Gibaldon, 758 in Licab, 434 in Llanera, 550 in Peñaranda and 563 in Quezon.
In total, the OVP, in partnership with local government units and volunteer medical practitioners, has provided free medical, dental and opthalmological services to 91,505 beneficiaries since 2010.
It also provided wheelchairs to 612 persons with disabilities.
For the first quarter of 2014, 1,152 beneficiaries also received medical assistance from the OVP.
Binay’s office released P8.58 million from January to March, or an average of P7,454 per recipient.
Another P437,500 was released to 198 beneficiaries of burial assistance, P100,000 for maintenance medicines of 36 patients and P83,900 for transport of 15 cadavers.
In sum, OVP assisted 23,365 beneficiaries who asked for medical assistance since 2010. The requests varied from settling hospital bills; paying for chemotherapy sessions, medicines, surgery and other procedures; or buying implants and hearing aids.
It also reached out to 1,476 indigents who needed funeral/burial/transportation assistance.
The OVP’s scholarship grant-in-aid program also continues to assist 1,500 scholars in state colleges and universities nationwide.
Binay’s office also partnered with select private schools for its scholarship program, which include AMA Computer University/ACLAC/ABE, St. Jude College & Medical Center, Manila Central University, Manila Business College and University of Batangas.
The OVP also distributed school supplies to 32,275 elementary pupils, most of whom belong to indigenous groups, and distributed medals and certificates of recognition to 21,980 students.
From 2011 to 2013, Binay’s office also helped fund the construction or repair of around 700 senior citizens’ centers nationwide. The centers serve as venues for assemblies, recreational and sports activities and medical missions for the elderly.
Medical equipment—including wheelchairs, sphygmomanometers, nebulizers and stethoscopes—were also donated to 44 Offices for Senior Citizens Affairs.
Amid the controversy over the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in September last year, Binay formally requested Congress to remove the P200 million social services fund from the OVP’s budget for 2014.
The fund was given starting 2011 and originally came from the unused PDAF of then-Sen. Benigno Aquino 3rd. In 2012 and 2013, the amount was integrated into the OVP’s regular budget.
“I made the decision even before the authorities determine the nature of the fund in order to avoid speculation and politicking in this issue. I expect that with this decision, we will again convey to the public that we in government are always listening to them and ready to serve honestly and with commitment,” Binay said.
The removal of the fund halved the OVP’s budget for 2014 to P217 million.
Nevertheless, the OVP was able to continue its operations, with Binay vowing to continue serving the people.