PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the National Food Authority (NFA) to set up food supply depots in provinces highly susceptible to natural disasters.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said Duterte issued the directive on December 18 during a briefing at the Naval State University in Biliran after mayors in the province complained of food supply shortage after the storm.
"The DSWD and NFA should work on that," Piñol said in his Facebook post Tuesday, December 19, quoting the President.
The idea of establishing food supply depot in areas frequently hit by natural calamities is not a new idea to Duterte, the agriculture secretary said.
“Long before he agreed to take up the challenge to run for President, he and I already talked about the need to ensure that there is ample food supply in areas often hit by typhoons,” he said.
The official said the idea came in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda in Eastern Visayas where people resorted to food looting due to shortage.
“Then-Mayor Duterte said there should be the pre-positioning of food in areas identified to be in the path of a typhoon good for at least two weeks to forestall hunger among the people in isolated areas,” Piñol said.
Duterte's idea of food supply depots was presented during the Apec Agriculture Minister's Conference in Peru in 2016.
On Monday, December 18, the DSWD announced the delivery of 15,000 food packs from Cebu and 10,000 food packs from Leyte.
Duterte visited the storm-stricken province late Monday afternoon to check the impact of the storm.
He and his Cabinet promised to mobilize all resources to help one of the country’s smallest provinces recover. (PNA)