THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 7 yesterday denied that Vice President Jejomar Binay chided the agency for failing to help the people of Ronda who were victims of the flood at the height of tropical storm Seniang.
Speaking during the 888 News Forum, DSWD 7 Assistant Director Shailane Marie Lucero said Binay, as a lawyer, understands the role of the DSWD and of the local government unit (LGU).
Under the law, the LGU is in the frontline of relief operations. The Provincial Government augments supplies if the LGU runs out. If both run out, that’s when the National Government, through the DSWD, enters.
Lucero said that in contrast to reports, they already offered to provide relief goods to the town before the arrival of Seniang, but Ronda Mayor Mariano Blanco III wanted these after the storm.
Lucero said relief goods are always ready but they need the mayor’s signature in the form of a letter-request because all expenses incurred by DSWD in every calamity are subject to audit and review by the Commission on Audit.
“We are only following the law, otherwise we will go to jail,” Lucero said, adding that had the mayor signed the letter-request, the relief goods would have been delivered to the town immediately.
Lucero said they’ve distributed P1.1 million worth of relief goods in Cebu and P2.7 million in Bohol for Seniang victims.
Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) has sent a repair team and a water truck to help provide potable water to two towns affected by Seniang.
MCWD public affairs manager Charmaine Kara said their pipelines maintenance teams helped repair the water systems of Ronda and Alcantara yesterday.
They also provided P20,000 worth of pipes and materials to ensure the operation of the water systems in both LGUs returns to normal, said MCWD assistant general manager for pipelines maintenance Noel Dalena.
Dalena and pipelines maintenance department manager Ferdinand Nicanor led a team to assess the storm’s damage in the towns of Dumanhug, Ronda and Alcantara last Jan. 4.
After their inspection, they immediately mobilized a team to do the repair work in the two towns.
“Their water pipes were washed away since these were in the river,” Dalena said.
MCWD general manager Ernie Delco responded to the request of the Provincial Government to extend whatever help it can to the affected towns.
“MCWD will do everything it can to help others. This is part of our commitment to service,” he added.
While the repair is ongoing, MCWD’s water truck will distribute potable water to waterless areas. It will get water from the Moalboal Water District.