Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) is urging anyone who hasn’t been given equal access to the services offered to all victims of Super Typhoon Yutu to get in touch with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Sablan said that Public Law 100-707, the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act of 1998, protects individuals in a federally declared disaster area from any form of discrimination.
“If you think you have not been given equal access to services and benefits, contact FEMA’s equal rights officers. If a phone call does not resolve the problem, you may file a written complaint with FEMA’s Office of Equal Rights, generally within 180 days of the alleged discrimination,” said Sablan.
Basic information like name, contact information, the name and address of the agency where the alleged discrimination was committed, names of persons that FEMA could get in touch with to verify the allegations, and other pertinent details of the incident should be included.
“Individuals who file discrimination complaints are also protected from retaliation, and should contact FEMA’s Typhoon Yutu equal rights officer Jubén Delgado-Dávila if they believe they are the victims of retaliation,” added Sablan.
For reports, call FEMA’s ERO’s at 1-800-621-3362 or TTY 1-800-462-7585 or get in touch with Delgado-Dávila at (202) 341-3984 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
President Donald J. Trump released separate significant emergency and state of major disaster declarations for the CNMI following Yutu’s devastation in October last year.
Additional disaster appropriation
In other news, Sablan said the U.S. Senate is set to act this week the disaster supplemental appropriation, H.R. 268, introduced by House Appropriations Committee chair Rep. Nita M. Lowey (D-NY 17th), that passed the House in January. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has already filed a motion to prepare for a vote on the Senate floor.
Sablan said a Senate version of H.R. 268, which is still being negotiated, include an additional $25.2 million for the Marianas food stamp program proposed by the Senate Appropriations Committee chaired by Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), and Sens. David Perdue (R-GA) and Marco Rubio (R-FL).
Another $56 million is set aside for solid waste management while $10.4 million is reserved for water and sewer projects that were negotiated for the Marianas. The Marianas is also eligible for more than $1.8 billion in federal funds—recovery money from the Economic Development Administration $600 million), Rural Development ($150 million), and the Community Block Grant for Disaster Recovery ($1.06 billion).
“One area of difference [is] the $36 million for Medicaid that I amended to the House bill during floor debate. [The] Senate Republicans’ bills have not included this money, even though Gov. [Ralph DLG] Torres, also a Republican, has attested that Marianas Medicaid is out of money,” said Sablan.