DSWD 7’s inefficiency

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014


OFFICERS of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 7 are lousy and inefficient.

Even as thousands of families in the region were rendered homeless and needed help after their areas were devastated by super typhoon Yolanda last November 8, hundreds of container vans with relief goods donated by other countries are stocked at the Cebu International Port (CIP). The reason: DSWD cannot claim these without paying huge customs duties and demurrage fees.

The agency needs some P14 million for the assessments. It also lacks an importation permit from the Bureau of Customs. But why is this happening when it is easy to secure this permit because it's a government agency to another government agency transaction. Didn’t these agencies coordinate with each other during the emergency?

DSWD 7 regional director Merceditas Jabagat, in a press conference, explained that the huge assessments prevented them from releasing the container vans. They still have to ask for funds from their central office. Accordingly, the latter has initially appropriated some P10 million for the fees.

Had the officers of DSWD 7 acted with dispatch upon the arrival of the relief goods, they could not have incurred those huge assessments. The Bureau of Customs waived all the taxes on relief goods donated from foreign counties and the CIP did not collect demurrage fees in the first few months after Yolanda hit the country.

This is the result of DSWD 7’s inefficiency. Its officers are only good in seeking publicity through photo opportunities with representatives of donor-countries. In reality, some of the relief goods did not reach the beneficiaries. How can DSWD 7 expect the public to appreciate its deeds?

Besides, DSWD 7's distribution of relief goods immediately after Yolanda struck was hounded with controversy. They repacked the donations that were already well-packed and ready for distribution. They transferred the relief goods to packs with DSWD markings, trying to make it appear that these came from our government.

They could not even explain where the bottles of catsup, which were part of the donation, went after they took these from the packed relief goods sent by the Indonesian government.

Now, what will they do with the donations stocked at the CIP? Wait for another big calamity to happen?

Jabagat said that if they are required to pay huge fees for foreign donations, then they will no longer accept donations next time around.

Unya og dili ta modawat sa donasyon, dunay igong ikahatag kining atong gobiyerno? Wala pa man gani makabangon ang mga biktima kay walay ikahatag nga hinabang ning gobiyernoha.

***

Not because Mike Enriquez is my boss at GMA/RGMA Networks, but I still believe in his credibility. Mike has been reported as one of the media personalities who received “freebies” from pork barrel scam queen Janet Lim-Napoles. According to Benhur Luy's hard disk file, a certain Mon Arroyo, a former GMA 7 program director, received the P50,000 on behalf of Mike as birthday gift. Mike denied the allegation, saying he did not know Napoles. Arroyo also denied the allegation.

GMA management is fully supporting Mike. His credibility is beyond question. Aside from being a newscaster in “24 Oras” and host of “Imbestigador” program, Enriquez holds various positions at GMA Network. He is the president of Radyo GMA (RGMA), a subsidiary of GMA that manages all AM and FM stations nationwide.

Carry on Boss Mike. Hindi natin sila tatantanan.

(bobby.nalzaro@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 21, 2014.

Opinion

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