DSWD urges typhoon ‘Pablo’ victims to meet all conditions to claim rice

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This article was first published on DSWD

Social Welfare and Development Secretary Dinky Soliman called on Barug Katawhan  to submit the agreed upon documents which they said they will provide. The Department continues to provide food packs to all areas affected by Typhoon Pablo. It also had begun the early recovery schemes including cash for work.

Rice for typhoon Pablo victims
Rice for typhoon Pablo victims

Secretary Soliman made this appeal after learning that the victims who earlier protested and demanded for additional rice assistance in January staged a press conference today. The protesters said that their claim to the 10,000 sacks of rice was rejected by the DSWD.

According to DSWD Region XI Director Priscilla Razon, the leaders of the protesters went to the regional office yesterday, and submitted only a distribution plan mentioning the site for the repacking of goods. The plan does not include names of recipients and areas for distribution, which the Department needs to submit to the Commission of Audit.

It can be recalled that Secretary Soliman committed to release 10,000 sacks of rice to local government units affected by typhoon ‘Pablo’ in Region XI, after a group of victims had a stand-off and requested for an audience with the Secretary and the Provincial Government.

During the dialogue in January, it was clear that rice will only be released once eight conditions were satisfied. These conditions include a distribution plan indicating the place and time of distribution and how the goods are to be distributed; the list indicating the name and address of recipients; listing of the names of responsible person who shall guarantee the  safe distribution; distribution to be witnessed by DSWD and Provincial/Municipal LGU representatives; release of rice to be done at the Typhoon Pablo Relief Operations Center at the DPWH Depot in Panacan, Davao City; acknowledgment that relief goods came from the government; distribution report consistent with the actual distribution; and storage of rice must follow safety standards.

The DSWD in Region XI said that the sacks of rice are ready for pick-up from the Depot in Panacan anytime.

Secretary Soliman explained that the DSWD is simply following the principles of transparency and accountability in setting the eight conditions. She further explained that rules set by the Commission on Audit necessitate the submission of a detailed distribution plan for validation and post-audit at a later date.

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