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YOLANDA AFTERMATH:

Only good stuff, please, aid workers tell donors

/ 02:19 AM December 02, 2013

Philippine military personnel unload relief goods to be distributed to those affected by Typhoon Haiyan at the airport in Tacloban. AP FILE PHOTO

BORONGAN CITY, Eastern Samar—Disaster relief officials here on Friday appealed to donors to give only goods that were usable to avoid further delays in their distribution to survivors of Supertyphoon “Yolanda.”

Social welfare officer Victoria Tagum, who heads the distribution of relief in Eastern Samar, said donations still had to be sorted because many contained items that were no longer of any use.

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“We have to take those out. Giving them to the typhoon victims would be an added insult,” she said.

Tagum said volunteers had found donated items, mainly clothes and slippers and shoes, that were too worn out to be of any use to the victims.

Cause of delay

Other items included bags and school supplies that were ruined.

“While we are grateful for the donations that have been coming in, we are calling on the public to donate things that are still usable because [sorting them out] would entail another day of delay,” she said.

Contaminated

Aside from unusable items, relief workers also had to repack bags of food items that were damaged during the two-day 450-km trip from the relief receiving hub in Legazpi City.

Eastern Samar Gov. Conrado Nicart Jr. said he was disgusted by the apathy shown by some local businessmen who were selling contaminated petroleum products, which caused further delays in relief distribution.

At least 10 trucks delivering relief goods to Eastern Samar—including generators for the provincial capitol, hospitals and other government facilities—broke down after the fuel used was said to have been contaminated with water.

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Volunteer organizations from the private sector also reported having bought contaminated fuel, causing their vehicles to conk out, said Levi Nicart, action officer of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. Melvin Gascon, Inquirer Northern Luzon

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TAGS: Borongan City, Eastern Samar, Samar, Supertyphoon Yolanda, Victoria Tagum, Yolanda aid, Yolanda Relief Goods
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