DSWD open to probe buried Yolanda relief goods – Soliman
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is open to investigations on the reported burying of relief goods intended for victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) in Leyte.
In a press release on Sunday, December 6, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman said she welcomes "any investigation that would give the Department the opportunity to clarify the issue."
“As I have said, there are personnel in the Department that have been negligent in their jobs to keep the relief goods in good condition. We are not washing hands on this, we will establish the liability ofthe persons involved here and make them accountable, in accordance with civil service rules,” Soliman said.
The DSWD was criticized for its lapses in the distribution of relief goods to Yolanda-stricken areas. (READ: Soliman admits lapses in Yolanda relief, won't resign)
On Wednesday, the DSWD office in Eastern Visayas admitted to Interaksyon that 284 sacks of rice supposedly for Yolanda relief operations rotted while in storage in a warehouse in Dagami town, Leyte.
An informant tipped the local police to a site in Barangay Macaalang, where the sacks of spoiled rice were buried.
According to Interaksyon, Senior Inspector Anthony Florencio, local chief of police, initially denied the report. Later, after inspecting the site himself, he confirmed that the sacks were marked with logos from the National Food Authority and the DSWD.
In defense, Soliman explained that the goods were already unfit for human consumption.
“Our goal here was to make sure that the goods will not reach the affected families anymore. That is why these were disposed of immediately,” she said.
DSWD has already ordered a 'thorough investigation', with Soliman assuring that the result will be made public.
Earlier, Binay expressed disappointment over DSWD, and claimed that “this was not the only time food for calamity victims had gone to waste.” – Rappler.com