Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas Pelagio Apostol y

first_imgDeputy Ombudsman for the Visayas Pelagio Apostol yesterday urged the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to stop repacking donated goods from foreign countries.“They have to discontinue what they are doing,” Apostol told reporters.ADVERTISEMENT SMC bags Bulacan airport project View comments Fake cop accosts real cops, is arrested in Pateros Carpio gets nominated as CJ for 4th time BPI nets P13.74B in H1 FAR-FETCHEDIn a press conference in Malacañang, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) head Herminio Coloma Jr. also said relabeling was “far-fetched” because the government’s social welfare office cannot just “inject” foreign goods into relief packs.“Iba po ang pag-handle at pagtrato doon sa mga voluntary donations. Kasi po they are sporadic and irregular in character. Hindi puwede ipasok doon sa regularity, predictability nung production line na isinasagawa po,” he said.“Kailangan po iyong precise parameters kung ano iyong isu-supply, anong quantity — may time and motion pa po yan. Hindi pwede iyong hit and miss na magi-inject ng spontaneous elements,” Coloma, a management expert, added.Coloma appealed to the public not to spread information online without verifying first.“Sana iyong mga nagkakaroon ng ganiyang obserbasyon, mag-pause po siguro ng ilang segundo o ilang minuto, dahil higit na madali iyong mag-blog ng mga ganun na baka naman po walang sapat na batayan iyong kanilang iniisip,” he said.“Hindi naman po ito pa-pogi game na lahat ia-appropriate para sa DSWD. Hindi naman po ganun,” he added.“Our Department of Social Welfare and Development is a professional organization. Sila po ay regular na nakikipag-ugnayan sa United Nations, sa mga international aid organizations, that have set very high parameters of excellence and efficiency,” Coloma said.“Makakaasa po tayo na sinusunod po nila kung anuman ang umiiral na batas, sinusunod po nila ang international protocols hinggil diyan at wala po silang pagnanais o pananadya na huwag pong gawin iyong tama,” he added.Moral obligation Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Senate to probe Tolentino’s ‘novel legal theories’ on oral agreements Pacquiao to Mayweather: Want fans to stop asking for rematch? Then fight me again PLAY LIST 01:49Pacquiao to Mayweather: Want fans to stop asking for rematch? Then fight me again03:47Isko Moreno scolds two truck drivers parked on a bridge02:13Cuba Gooding Jr. nabbed for groping claim; lawyer says video will exonerate him03:26PCSO to focus on improving transparency of gaming activities01:39Sotto open to discuss, listen to pros and cons of divorce bill06:02Senate to probe Tolentino’s ‘novel legal theories’ on oral agreements01:50Palace open to make Dengvaxia usable again as dengue cases spike01:49House seeks probe on ‘massive corruption’ in PCSO01:37PCSO estimates P250M in Lotto revenue loss due to suspension Improved flowWhile noting remaining gaps in aid delivery, United Nations Under-Secretary General Valerie Amos, the world body’s humanitarian chief, noted an improved flow of assistance to affected families but called for greater attention to inland villages where help has not arrived. “While much of the international focus has been on Tacloban, people need help in many other areas. There are areas further inland in the mountains on many of the smaller islands that we have yet to reach,” said Amos.Assessing the overall aid flow, Amos said the “relief operation has been scaled up significantly.” The change in pace followed delays last week given logistics hurdles and the magnitude of the disaster, which had prompted the official last week to admit that “we have let people down.”“Every day, aid efforts gather pace with the systems getting through to more people. Significant food and medical assistance has been provided and water services, as well as limited telecommunications services, restored,” Amos said.Based on UN estimates, some 1.1 million have received food aid since the disaster struck, still less than half of the estimated 2.5 million affected residents in need of food assistance. Amos said water services have been restored in Capiz, Northern Cebu and Roxas City. Medical teams — 43 international groups and 44 local — have meanwhile been providing medical services to those affected.World Health Organization Country Representative Julie Lyn Hall said most patients treated in the first week were trauma injuries, including fractures and cuts due to typhoon debris. / With Inquirer reportsRead Next Quake disturbs Itbayat, Batanes anew Angara: Investigate DOH’s ‘constipated’ medicine distribution system Deputy Ombudsman Apostol said the DSWD has not committed anything unlawful in repacking pre-packed goods from foreign countries.But he said it is the “moral obligation” of DSWD to immediately deliver relief goods to affected families. “It may not be illegal but anything that causes delay in the distribution of relief goods is wrong,” Apostol told reporters.He said the Ombudsman just wants to make sure that public services are properly done by the different agencies of government.“Under the Constitution, the Ombudsman acts as the watchdog, mobilizer and critics of government. We see to it that rules are implemented. Let’s help one another in distributing goods to the typhoon victims,” Apostol said.Right thingDemocrito Barcenas, former president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Cebu chapter, and a ranking official of the Catholic church came to the defense of the beleaguered agency saying the DSWD has the right to check the relief goods donated by foreign countries.“It is the duty of the DSWD to check if the donated goods are fit for human consumption. They should consider, among others, the expiry date. If expired food are distributed to affected families, they will die not because of the calamity but due to food poisoning,” he said.However, Barcenas said DSWD personnel and volunteers should not replace foreign products with local canned goods. “If reports that they are changing the canned goods are true, that should be investigated. We, nonetheless, could not conclude as of now,” said Barcenas.Msgr. Esteban Binghay, episcopal vicar of the Archdiocese of Cebu, said reports that canned goods donated by other countries were replaced with local canned foods still has to be verified. But Binghay said DSWD is right in checking donations from foreign countries before distributing it to recipients.“We know there are several people who are sending relief goods. It’s but proper for the DSWD to check these relief goods. Maybe, there are some goods that are placed in bottles which may get broken. The expiry date of the goods should also be checked,” he said. “It may take time. But the safety of the recipients should be taken into consideration,” he added. Tolentino: No more debate with Drilon on China deal Why they did itMORE STORIESnewsinfoFake cop accosts real cops, is arrested in PaterosnewsinfoAngara: Investigate DOH’s ‘constipated’ medicine distribution systemnewsinfoQuake disturbs Itbayat, Batanes anewMORE STORIESnewsinfoFake cop accosts real cops, is arrested in PaterosnewsinfoAngara: Investigate DOH’s ‘constipated’ medicine distribution systemnewsinfoQuake disturbs Itbayat, Batanes anewThe DSWD, in a statement, said they do not repack, much less relabel, already packed international donations received by the agency.Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman made the clarification on Tuesday to quell stories in social media that the staff at the DSWD Satellite Repacking Center at the Benito Ebuen Air Base in Cebu was taking pre-packed relief items donated by Indonesia and placing them in bags labeled “DSWD.”“We just take out the bottled condiments in the packs as they make the goods more difficult to transport and handle,” Soliman said. “This also prevents the other items in the bags from contamination in case the bottles break.” The bottled items and other breakables are placed in separate containers and marked “fragile,” she said.Soliman said it was the DSWD’s responsibility to check the relief goods received by the agency. “We have to ensure that all relief goods, particularly the food items, are fit for human consumption and in good condition—that’s why we inspect the contents of the bags, especially their expiration dates,” she said.ADVERTISEMENT “Please distribute pre-packed foreign donations as they are. Why are they changing local canned goods with those donated from foreign countries? I respect DSWD’s manner in repacking relief goods. But please don’t do anything which may create doubt,” he added.Allegations of switching foreign donated goods for local ones have not been verified.FEATURED STORIESNEWSINFOSenate to probe Tolentino’s ‘novel legal theories’ on oral agreementsNEWSINFOLocsin wants to drop ‘visas upon arrival’ privilegeNEWSINFOPalace open to make Dengvaxia usable again as dengue cases spikeA volunteer in the repacking of goods questioned the alleged practice in her Facebook account. She said that pre-packed donations from Indonesia were repacked in bags marked “DSWD” and “NFA” (National Food Authority).The volunteer said the practice slowed down the distribution of relief goods intended for typhoon victims. MOST READ LATEST STORIESlast_img

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