President Duterte warned typhoon “Odette” victims that their incoming financial aid shouldn’t be used on the two things that he loathes–liquor and gambling.
Speaking to typhoon victims on Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte on Wednesday, Dec. 22, Duterte said the cash assistance will reach them any day, between Thursday and Monday.
“I will tell them to fast-track it. I’ve saved up a — all affected areas in Visayas will receive money. If not Thursday, you’ll get it by Friday. We just need to download it and sign some papers in the bank,” he said in Bisaya.
“In all honesty, to the single men here, when you receive the financial aid, don’t ever use it to buy alcoholic beverages. I won’t allow it. Even the police, if I find out that they didn’t hand in their salary to their family, I’ll beat them up. I will really punch them,” Duterte said.
The Chief Executive floated at least two amounts of cash assistance or “ayuda” that the affected families could receive.
“I’ve found the budget for you. Last night, we were working hard because we were cutting the budget of some government projects just so that I could give you something immediately. This is for the people, not for infrastructures. Maybe you’ll get P50,000 each. Ah, and you believed that so easily? OK then, maybe P40,000, is that okay?” he said to a loud applause.
But Duterte didn’t give a final amount during his speech there.
“But seriously, the longest — I told the governor already, I’ve told them a long time ago that I’m just ‘sweeping the floor’ to see where I would find the money. I won’t tell you anymore but I have — the money is available now…Just give me a little time, just give me a little time,” the 76-year-old said.
“To those who don’t care, you may just use the money to gamble. And when you run out of money, you get hungry. I’ll make the typhoon come back for you then,” he added in jest.
Turning serious, Duterte said, “Don’t waste the money because times are hard, prioritize your food. But like I said, food supply won’t be a problem because it’s already here. So there’s really no problem with that. The money will arrive on Friday, or maybe Monday. So just wait for a while.”
On Thursday afternoon, Dec. 23, Duterte visited Puerto Princesa City in Palawan where he would make the same warning against the misuse of the ayuda.
He specifically vowed to go after the men who fail to use the money for the needs of their respective families.
“This money is really for survival, lalo na sa mga bata (especially for the children),” he said.