TAGBILARAN, Bohol -- Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas warned mayors and barangay officials of Bohol against selective distribution of relief assistance to earthquake victims by politicizing the relief operations.
Twenty-six of the 47 local government units in Bohol were severely damaged by the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that hit the province on Tuesday morning.
Roxas said the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the National Government will exercise its supervisory powers against officials proven being selective in giving assistance to earthquake victims.
"Panahon po nang sakuna ito. Sineseryoso po natin yong paghahatid ng tulong at pagtugon sa pangangailangan ng ating mga kababayan. Huwag ho nating halu-an ng politika ito (There is a calamity. We seriously address giving help to our countrymen. Let us not politicize this.)," Roxas said.
He said there is a full inventory of the relief goods coming out from DSWD and Capitol.
Beneficiaries are targeted and identified. If the goods did not arrive to its recipients because of politics, somebody will answer, Roxas said.
He said he will enforce the law against officials found politicizing the relief distribution.
Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto also reiterated the appeal of Roxas.
Earlier some residents of Loay town, another quake-hit area, complained of selective food assistance distribution.
The campaign period for the October 28 barangay elections entered its second day on Saturday.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has yet to decide whether to postpone the barangay elections in the province.
The Provincial Board of Bohol (PB) passed a resolution on Friday asking Comelec to postpone elections in the province.
"We would like to focus our operation in relief and recovery. Everyone is traumatized especially with the continued aftershocks," Governor Chatto said.
Meanwhile, the death toll of the 7.2-magnitude earthquake now rose to 183, injured totalled to 583, and 13 remain missing.
The Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) said relatives of fatalities will receive P10,000 and those who were injured will receive P5,000.
A death certificate and police report will be needed to claim the assistance from the local government units. Medical admission will also be required to claim assistance for those who were injured.
The OCD also reported that rescue operations already stopped and it is now recovery operations.
Roxas also reported that power has been restored in the 44 towns of Bohol.
The towns of Loon, Maribojoc, and Sagbayan still has no power supply after distribution lines were damaged by the earthquake.
Water supply in 42 towns have also been restored by telecommunication companies, Globe and Smart. However, the towns of Calape, Cortes,Loon, Maribojoc, and Sagbayan are still out of water supply.
Chatto said clearing of road networks continue, adding that the entire province is already accessible but travel time is just longer. (With Maria Armie Sheila Garde/Sunnex)