DAVAO CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has never learned from its past experiences, said the local leader of typhoon Pablo survivors in response to recent reports that spoiled relief goods have reached the evacuees in Albay, Bicol.
In a phone interview of Davao Today with Karlos Trangia, chairperson of Barug Katawhan, a local alliance of typhoon Pablo survivors in Compostela Valley, said that what happened to the evacuees also happened to the victims of calamities from Leyte and Compostela Valley.
“It seems that the DSWD hasn’t changed with regards to their handling of the food packs intended for victims of calamities,” Trangia said.
“They continue to look at the victims as just ordinary folks, no better than animals,” he said.
According to news reports, spoiled food packs were discovered in government deliveries in Albay.
Last Sunday, government officials gave 23,450 food packs containing six kilos of rice, four cans of sardines, four cans of corned beef, six packs of noodles and cereal drinks.
The distribution of the food packs was led by Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II together with other cabinet officials including DSWD secretary Corazon Soliman and Malacanang spokesman Edwin Lacierda.
DSWD-Bicol Director Arnel Garcia said that 32 family food packs worth P3,000 were spoiled.
For his part, Trangia recounted the incident of the 7, 527 family food packs intended for supertyphoon Yolanda survivors which were found out to be spoiled by the Commission on Audit (COA) due to improper handling.
“If they really handled it properly, I guess the food packs should not have become rotten. Those are food packs intended for people’s consumption. Why would they distribute it if it’s already decaying?” he said.
The government has allotted P560 million fund for the 12,000 families who were evacuated from the danger zone surrounding Mayon Volcano.
According to Soliman the allocated fund is good for 90 days.
Meanwhile, Trangia shared that disaster survivors of typhoon Pablo and typhoon Yolanda will be meeting next month in Leyte to arrive at a resolution and assessment of the government’s disaster response. (davaotoday.com)