PH consul appeals vs double dipping


The Philippine Consulate General in Agana, Guam is appealing to Filipino nationals on Saipan who have already obtained financial assistance from the last two distributions to avoid claiming benefits again to give others a chance at being aided.

The consulate general, in coordination with the office of Philippine honorary consul to the CNMI Glicerio Arago, will be handing out financial assistance again—its third—to Filipino households on Saipan at the Kristo Rai Parish social hall, today, Nov. 16 with distributions to start at 8:30am.

Vice consul Alex Vallespin told Saipan Tribune the cash assistance is worth $50.

Requirements include a photocopy of a valid Philippine passport’s biographic page. Beneficiaries are being urged to bring a pen.

Vallespin noted that those who have already claimed financial assistance during the two previous distributions are ineligible to claim additional benefits today.

He confirmed that during their previous financial assistance outreach just a week after Super Typhoon Yutu hit the islands of Saipan and Tinian, their system detected instances of beneficiaries twice claiming the $50 allotted per household.

“…We saw [upon reviewing our records] a certain individual who claimed their assistance benefits twice. In contrast, on Tinian, one Filipino kababayan (countryman) reached out to us to return the benefit that was accidentally claimed twice,” Vallespin said. He noted that the individual on Tinian had a miscommunication with his spouse and accidentally claimed the benefit twice.

“He chased our vehicle to return the $50 because his wife already claimed their assistance benefit,” Vallespin noted.

“We have already noted individuals who have previously claimed [financial assistance benefits] and we do not want them claiming their benefits twice,” said Vallespin.

“…We appeal to the understanding of our kababayans that, as much as possible, only one per family should claim their financial assistance benefit honestly.”

In early November, the consulate provided $50 in financial assistance to 400 Filipino families on Saipan and over 200 on Tinian in response to the destruction of Yutu late October 2018.

PH consular outreach sees a drop on participation
The Philippine consular outreach of the Kristo Rai Parish social hall, which started Wednesday and ends today, is the last outreach effort of PCG to the CNMI for the year.

Vallespin said the number of open slots for passport renewal processing as of 10am Wednesday were at about 100. Vallespin noted that all five of the consular outreach trips done last year saw the 420 limit of passport renewal processing requests per trip.

The previous four trips also maxed out at 420.

“…So far this time, it’s pretty low,” Vallespin said of the number of passport renewal processing requests. He added that he could not confirm whether it was due to the recent Super Typhoon Yutu, but he said it was probable. “When things normalize here, maybe they would be more willing to shell out the $60 for renewing their passports,” he said.

He said the consulate general would still strive toward at least five consular outreach trips to the CNMI this coming 2019.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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