THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Central Visayas announced that all cargo containers with rice donations from the Algerian Government have been withdrawn from the Cebu International Port and transported to the identified typhoon-

hit areas for distribution to the beneficiaries.

The 246 containers were the subject of controversy last month after the DSWD 7 failed to pay the fees for its demurrage and shipment since super typhoon Yolanda hit the Visayas last year.

Of the donated bags of rice, 70,800 of these were allocated to Eastern Visayas, while the rest are for northern Cebu.

As of last Sunday, a total of 51,132 bags of rice were already shipped to Tacloban, while the remaining 19,668 bags are to be transported by the third week of this month.

DSWD 7 Director Mercedita Jabagat said that 100 percent of the rice donations from Algeria were already withdrawn after the agency has fully paid the demurrage and shipment fees.

Last month, the DSWD Central Office in Manila released about P10 million to cover the demurrage and other fees for the immediate release of relief goods for typhoon survivors being kept at the CIP.

Jabagat said with the shipment of the relief goods from Algeria to Tacloban, their local counterpart in Eastern Visayas will take charge of the distribution of the rice donations to the beneficiaries.

Third batch

The DSWD 7 has also delivered the third batch of family food packs containing rice donations from Algeria to the towns of Sogod, Tuburan and Borbon, all in northern Cebu.

Jabagat also said DSWD 7 has released a total of 2,151 family food packs to Tabogon town, Cebu.

The family food packs contained 25 kilos of rice, 20 assorted canned goods, 20 noodle packs and 20 coffee sachets amounting to P1,250 per pack.

Other areas that will benefit from DSWD 7’s third batch of relief assistance are Bogo City and the towns of Bantayan, Madridejos, Medellin, Pilar, Poro, San Francisco, San Remegio, Sta. Fe, Tabuelan and Tudela.

Upon receiving the P10 million from the DSWD Central Office, the regional department immediately got to work by paying the required fees and claiming all donated relief goods from Algeria.

The DSWD has been paying P1,400 a day for every undelivered cargo container at the CIP since Jan. 2.

Aside from that, the Oriental Port and Allied Services Corp. (OPASCOR) is also charging P10,000 to DSWD 7 for every container of other donations like clothes, which have been opened and inspected.