Lapu-Lapu City disaster official explains side on FB post asking for new clothing for fire victims

Lapu-Lapu City disaster official explains side on FB post asking for new clothing for fire victims
Ryan Karl G. Tallo

A disaster official of the Lapu-Lapu City Government stressed that charity and common sense go hand in hand when giving gifts.

Nagiel Bañacia, the head of the Lapu-Lapu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (LLCDRRMO), made the statement in response to criticism from online users regarding his Facebook post urging people to donate new clothes rather than used items to the victims of the recent fire in Sitio Sta. Maria, Barangay Pusok.

Bañacia also advised the public to donate fried foods like fried chicken, lumpia (Filipino spring rolls), and adobo (meat cooked in vinegar) rather than perishable products like spaghetti.

Some online users attacked the post for being "over the top and discriminatory," particularly those who want to donate but could not afford to give brand-new clothes.

Others disagreed with the choice of food, emphasizing that they should welcome any donation of food as long as it is hygienic, safe, and able to satisfy the fire victims' need.

On Thursday, December 28, 2023, Bañacia stated in a media interview that while he understood the netizens' outrage, he was merely carrying out his duty to make sure the victims were taken care of.

He also apologized to those offended by the post.

"I'm very sorry if you feel aggrieved nya ingnan kag hambugero ka, unsa ka dato ka na criticize ku, but never mind, my job is not for popularity. My job is to manage a disaster and ensure the victims are well taken care of. Our compasion must have wisdom unsa actual needs sa mga nasunugan," said Bañacia.

"Example naa mi nadawat nga used clothing nga d appropriate, baho, gisi-gisi unya naay nanawag naku og miingon nga asyoso kay ka ang mga tawo pwede na mulaba nya gitubag naku maam pasayloa jud ku kay tanang biktima sa sunog wa naman gani sila kaligo, wa na sila panahon sa panglaba unya during those time confused ug guol pa kaayu sila. So in short our compasion must have wisdom ato sabton ang mga needs mao na amung trabaho as disaster officers," he explained.

(For instance, we received used clothing that is inappropriate, smells bad and is torn apart, then someone called and said, "I'm picky because the victims can just wash the clothes." To which I replied, "Sorry, ma'am, but the fire victims couldn't even take a bath, how much more wash their clothes, and during those times they were very much confused and worried." To put it briefly, our compassion must be wise enough to recognize the needs. It's what disaster officers do.)

Bañacia declared that he was unaffected by the criticism and happily announced that their office has received more practical donations than frivolous ones since his widely shared Facebook post.

However, the post has since been taken down. (HIC)


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