DSWD agrees to inclusive review of aid beneficiaries

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DAVAO CITY—Negotiations between thousands of Typhoon “Pablo” survivors and social welfare officials ended on Wednesday with an agreement to review the list of relief beneficiaries.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) agreed to add to the list those not listed earlier but were victims of the typhoon.

It was also agreed that the protesters would be given 100 sacks of rice as they returned home Wednesday night.

The third day of the typhoon survivors’ protest was marred by a scuffle between the protesters and police outside the DSWD compound here.

Two people were arrested during the scuffle.

Earlier, protesters accosted a plainclothes policeman mingling with the typhoon survivors and seized his 9-mm pistol. They handed over the gun to a uniformed police officer.

A policeman was hurt in the brief scuffle that started when people blocked a police vehicle as it brought in food for policemen keeping the peace at the protest site.

The protesters started their “occupation” outside the DSWD regional office on Monday afternoon to denounce the agency’s alleged inept delivery of relief and rehabilitation services to areas devastated by Typhoon Pablo in December last year. They belong to the militant Barug Katawhan, a group of storm survivors from Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental.

On Tuesday morning, they knocked down one of the compound’s front gates and carried away sacks of rice and boxes of relief goods. In the afternoon, however, the police forcibly took back the goods, again resulting in a brief riot that left several protesters and policemen injured.

“These relief items were allocated for us. Why is the government depriving us of these items?” said Karlos Trangia, spokesman of the group.

Acts of aggression

In Manila, the DSWD on Wednesday said the goods were intended for victims of Tropical Depression “Crising” in Davao del Norte, which struck Mindanao last week. It vowed to take legal action against the Barug Katawhan for raiding its regional office, destroying government property and stealing the relief items.

Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman said she was saddened by “these acts of aggression directed at our field office, as well as our personnel.” She said her department “has been faithfully serving all sectors affected by the calamity.”

“Our people work 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide much-needed services. We respond to the exigency of public service at great cost to ourselves and our families. That we are now being subjected to harassment is deplorable,” she added.

Trangia said his group was also demanding the immediate release of 10,000 sacks of rice promised by Soliman when a protest roadblock was erected in Montevista town in Compostela Valley on Jan. 15.

The secretary, however, said the rice would be given as soon as the Barug Katawhan provided the DSWD with a list of beneficiaries, the places where they came from, the distribution plan and local coordinators.

What was submitted to the DSWD was a list of repacking areas and the names of people who agreed to have these places used as distribution sites, Soliman said.

She said the DSWD had contacted at least two persons on the list and they denied agreeing to have their places used as repacking areas.

Countercheck

 

“Our intent in requiring them to provide the list is to countercheck it with our lists. This is to clarify their allegations that some families were not receiving relief goods or are not on the list,” said acting Director Priscilla Razon of the DSWD regional office.

“If there are really families not listed in our system, then we will include them,” Razon added.

But the organization said the residents were apprehensive to give their names because this might be used against them. Eight leaders of the group and its supporters have been charged in court for joining the roadblock.

Trangia said the DSWD was only passing on its responsibility to the people.

“What we are offering is that everyone will sign once they receive the goods in their villages. It will be transparent and the DSWD has nothing to worry about these goods getting to people who are not recipients,” he said.

Lawmakers on Wednesday took the side of the typhoon survivors who, they claimed, were just venting their helplessness and desperation.

“There could have been some peaceful compromise only if the DSWD officials were present to listen and respond to the people’s cries,” said Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casiño, who was in Davao City on Monday for his senatorial campaign.

“What triggered it was that no one from the DSWD was negotiating with them. I was informed that by Tuesday morning, there was still no response. The people were willing to have their names listed as long as there is somebody who will come to their assistance.”

Cagayan Rep. Jackie Enrile accused the social welfare officials of treating the people like “animals. “

“It is sad to see these people being reduced to subhuman standards. First you see them stopping food convoys, then they are being forced to eat rotten rice unfit for consumption even by animals,” Enrile said in a statement. “What is more devastating is the hopelessness and desperation that comes after a calamity.”

‘Warranted by situation’

Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano said the victims’ acts were warranted by the situation.

“Hungry and desperate typhoon victims have all the right to take what are rightfully theirs. Their actions are justified. It is the government’s duty to provide relief and rehabilitation assistance to its disaster-stricken constituents,” Mariano said.

Gabriela Rep. Luz Ilagan said the DSWD regional office should explain its harsh actions against the protesters.

“What happened at the DSWD office was simply cruel, heartless and inexcusable. The protesting typhoon victims did not ask for anything more than what was promised and they did not ask for anything more than what they needed to survive. Is what they are asking too much?” Ilagan said.

“International aid poured for Typhoon Pablo victims. Why is the DSWD depriving them of food and treating them like rats? They are being victimized twice, even three times over,” she said.

In a statement, evangelist Bro. Eddie Villanueva assailed the department for its “failure to quickly and efficiently distribute relief goods.”

“Instead of threatening to press legal charges against the typhoon victims and their leaders, Secretary Dinky Soliman should examine the agency’s relief goods distribution chain in typhoon-affected communities,” said Villanueva, the Bangon Pilipinas party’s lone senatorial candidate.

“While I do not condone the manner by which the typhoon victims took relief goods from the DSWD office, the desperation behind the group’s action showed a deep discontent toward the failure of the government to help alleviate their plight, especially after the storm ravaged their communities,” he said.

Donations

As of 3 p.m. on Wednesday, a total of 220 sacks of rice sent by anonymous donors arrived at the barricade site. Some people sent bread.

In a radio interview, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said she had given the city’s police chief, Senior Supt. Ronald de la Rosa, authority to disperse the protesters.

“I gave De la Rosa full authority to disperse the rally at all cost as soon as possible today,” she said. “I ordered De la Rosa to arrest the protesters in case of resistance or if they create violence in the course of the dispersal.”

Arrested during Wednesday’s scuffle were Conrado Capili of Monkayo and Daniel Binang of Compostela, both in Compostela Valley.

The city government also sent buses to ferry the protesters to their places of origin. But the protesters said they would hold their line.—With reports from Cynthia D. Balana, Gil C. Cabacungan and Jerry Esplanada in Manila

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  • http://www.yellowmythbusters.gov.ph/ Weder-Weder Lang

    When Senator Santiago lambasted DWSD Chief Dinky Soliman for playing god before, many did not understand the good senator’s point. With DSWD’s hoarding exposed by no less than the typhoon, flood and landslide victims themselves, there’s no denying Dinky Soliman is indeed playing god. Why she insisted on hoarding the goods which were bought with taxpayers’ money in time of election is difficult to understand. But it does add fuel to the fire and fuel speculations in the realm of conspiracy theory.

    God helps those who help themselves. The calamity victims have every right to help themselves to the goods hoarded in DSWD warehouses. Dinky Soliman should stop playing god, lest she incur the wrath of God.

    To PNoy, ang nagugutom na taongbayan po ang boss nyo. In the same vein, they too are the boss of Dinky Soliman.

  • kalikasanipagtanggol

    Hoarding for their own use later on!

  • Paulstronghold

    Sad note: ” patay gutom” ang tingin ng ibang bansa sa inasal nating mga Pilipino. Look at Japan, despite the devastating tsunami that almost wipe out the whole prefecture , the whole world saw the horrible scenes of despair because of the loss of  loved ones and properties. But you’ll be amazed at the same time to see how ORDERLY  manner the victims would fall in line in a gesture of patience, respect and decency –  long queue of survivors waiting for their turn to get their share of foods and other relief goods. The Japanese is not a Christian country, but showing how Filipinos became “pre-historic animals” in times  of crisis is as shame to our culture as the only Christian country in the Far East.

    I had my share of sad experience when we distributed some relief good in Bulacan during Ondoy. We have limited supplies since most are from our own pockets and some dole-outs from our Christian brothers and sisters in our church. To the dismay of some crowd who were not able to get their share..some of them uttered investives:  “put–ng ina nyo wag na kayong mabibigay kung kulang ang dala nyo…lumayas na kayo baka kuyugin namin kayo” It’s hard to reconcile why some Filipinos became “aso’t pusa”  in crisis such as this.

  • puza65

    NGAUN NAGMAMAGALING DIN SI JACK ENRILE EH KUNG UN BA NAMANG IPINAMUDMUD NG AMA NYA SA MGA SENADOR BILANG PAMASKO EH ITINULONG NILA DI SANA HINDI GANYAN…AT YANG MGA NAGSISIMULA NG RALLY SILA ANG TUNAY NA GUMAGAWA NG GULO..TALAGA BANG PARA KAU SA BAYAN O GUSTO NYONG MAGULO TALAGA ANG BANSA NATIN….IPINAPAKITA LANG NATIN NA KAHIT TAYO AY NAKAPAG ARAL AY WALA PA RING MODO…KAYA GANYAN KABABA ANG TINGIN SA ATIN”PATAY GUTOM” DAHIL NA RIN SA PANGGAGAMIT NG IBA…. 

    • Reign

      Porket nagrally, nagpagamit na agad? Ikaw kaya magutom ng DALAWANG BUWAN. Puro kadada palibhasa hindi mo naranasan sinapit nila e.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/RB77HFWKYPOOSGRUY4BZD6RJ4U Ronald

    grabe 2 months after typhoon pablo indi pa na distribute ang relief goods……..hindi na relief goods ang tawag dyan…..inefficeint DSWD or they are using the relief goods for their political advantage in the forthcoming elections…..walang pinag-iba sa arroyo govt itong aquino govt.

  • Philcruz

    Cagayan Rep. Jackie Enrile accused the social welfare officials of treating the people like “animals.”

    Look who’s talking.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W7TPARCYJFCSA3PBQAM3MVZO3E kurakut

      KAPAG NAKAUPO NA EH LECHE KAYONG LAHAT! DI BA JACKIE? CASINO? 

    • wawa2172

       At least may nag salita, di mo lang type..he he he. He is a politician and that is his day job. Somehow for the DSWD its lesson learn again from their inefficiency. Months have pass by after Pablo and weeks after Crising  but they do not have a database of the victims on site where the relief should be distributed. The database should have contain the list of victims on site after the typhoon. Walang ginawa ang DSWD but mag hintay at parang nahihintay  nag signal to distribute in time for election campaign. Aanhin pa ang damo kung patay na ang mga kabayo ika nga. The DSWD has been in such situations sa dami nang catastrophe  na dumating sa Pinas and yet they do not have an establish system yet on efficient relief distribution. Si Dinky ay dalawang admin na ang pinag silbihan but wala yatang nagawa kundi takutin ang mga protesters.  Baka kailangan nyo nang tulong? You can ask the academe or universities to do a research of develop such kind of  system para di na kayo kuyugin uli nang mga tao.

  • dorothyanne88

    This simple matter as I understood from the gist of the article escalated to become a problem because these alleged typhoon victims refused to list their names for verification on a contention that it may be used to file suit against them. If only their barangay captain or their Mayor was present to vouch for them then this matter hadn’t became too hot to handle thus causing injury and destruction to properties.

    These personnel of DSWD to my mind are simply acting on heir job as borne by their mandates that allocations must be given to the right beneficiary and not an impostor claiming to be a victim but not. So requiring them to register their names in the logbook is a normal government procedure but for purposes of expedition to the process local barangay or municipal official should have been tasked by these victims to coordinate for them but in the absence a suspicion of shenanigan is present.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3UAABFPUE5ZKBXOAGLWL6POGWU joel genese

      The DSWD then should have delegated the verification of names to brgy captains. Sometimes we neglect simple matters and try to look for a bigger accountability. The CCT program of DSWD is a huge accountability and yet, this simple matter can not be addressed.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/FXCIZ3GD4CSNVVIUIVYX6VC4KI Apolinario

    IT ALL BOILS DOWN TO THE INEFTIVENESS OF OUR GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS. DSWD SHOULD HAVE DONE THEIR HOMEWORK. THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE ONE TO CONDUCT THE LISTING OF BENIFICIARIES. HOW INUTIL THEY ARE.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3UAABFPUE5ZKBXOAGLWL6POGWU joel genese

    Sometimes we neglect simple matters and try to look for a bigger accountability. The CCT program of DSWD is a huge accountability and yet, this simple matter can not be addressed. 

    • $14141131

      CORRUPTION? Yes, but the COA is a sh!#@$$#5!& accomplice.

  • Loggnat

    DSWD should route the aid to those affected by the typhoon thru the local authorities. The provincial government should receive allocated aid from the DSWD and national government. The governor’s office should distribute them to the most affected and to those that needs it most. If somebody gets left out and did not get their fair share of the assistance, they can complain to the governor and their local government officials.Those governors who failed miserably to properly distribute the government assistance and aid to their constituents should be penalized according to the law. In my opinion, that is what those local government are created for.

  • Andres_Bagumbayan

    Mula pa noon ay mahina na talaga ang liderato ni Dinky doo…ngayon madaming mga dumaan sakuna ay tila lumpo ang ahensiyang pinamumunuan ni Dinky doo upang sagipin ang mga nangangailangan ng tulong!!!

    Malakas lang talaga ito kay Noynoying kaya’t hindi masibak sa puwesto…Ilan taon na ang gobyerno ni Noynoying ngunit tila hindi maramdaman ng marami ang programang CCT….

    • $14141131

      CCT (Continuing gloria’s Corruption and Treachery) makes the President gay.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/X2U4X42BZTUHPWMP2UKFP5QWMU LucasPacascas

    Wala ng makain ang mga victims, kakasuhan pa? Tsk,tsk,tsk. kawawa naman sila.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GEL5M676WZ7BLFR4SNH66WKRZM Bigboy I

    hirap sa mga pulitiko mahilig sumasawsaw sa isyu na di naman alam gawain ng DSWD pero pag dating sa FOI bill di nila maipasa bigla nawawala sa plenaryo bago kayo manisi tignan nyo mga p ulitiko sarili nyo.

  • Alala Peter

    2 months hindi pa na distribute ang relief goods???? ang lupeeeeeeeet mo dinky, multi-million ang donations from foreign countires and foreign organizations.  

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XJ6M3EEK5LGN77YOMKJHBCXF7Q jeronimo

    konting tiis muna, antayin nyo kase ang team lp na mangampanya jan, di pa pwede ipaimgay ang relief goods , la pa sila e, pagdating nila jan siguradong may bigas kayo.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XJ6M3EEK5LGN77YOMKJHBCXF7Q jeronimo

    review nanaman? puro na lang review review review. Atimonan review, Sabah review, DSWD review….kelan ba exams?

  • $14141131

    CALLING COA!!! The DSWD is the agency you MUST investigate otherwise you are an accomplice to their act.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/VPZAEIOQJN3PYLPJ2UQ47AWISA alberto

      TAMA. Dapat auditing mabuti ang mga pera, budget, aids received internationaly the way they handle the budget and distribution of them.  Sangkatutak na kaaliwaswasan sa buong Pilipinas ang departamento ito.

  • $14141131

    P45Billion loaned by the diffident President from ADB just to fund his CCT (continuing corruption and treachery) for the DSWD only under the scheme of Sec. Stinky Soliman.

  • $14141131

    COA – Corruption on Audit. 
    Look at the lifestyle of the auditors, they richer than other government workers.

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