Truckloads of relief goods deployed in north, south

THE Capitol has sent out three truckloads of relief goods in the north and two in the south of the province in anticipation of the arrival of typhoon Ruby.

Each truck contains sacks of rice, cartons of bottled water and cartons of sardines, said Provincial Social Welfare Office Rose Jao.

Jao said she already directed the towns’ social welfare officers to repack the items for distribution to augment the towns’ relief goods.

“We have enough rice. Supposedly (we’re the) second responder ta kay (because) the first to respond immediately after a calamity is the LGU (local government unit),” she said, adding that this is the policy of the National Government.

The five trucks were made available through the coordination of the Provincial Administrator with private contractors. These were deployed yesterday morning.

Jao said there were instances last year where relief trucks were barred from delivering goods to Medellin, an allegation that Mayor Ricardo Ramirez denied.

Past discrepancies

“No mayor in his right mind would deny entry of relief materials in his place,” Ramirez said.

He said there was one instance where there was a discrepancy in the quantity of relief packs on the receipt (33,000) and the actual food packs unloaded (13,000), but the town still accepted the assistance.

The mayor said he just wrote a letter to complain.

Marina Aviar, executive assistant of Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, said many factors may have caused the discrepancy.

She said each truck last year delivered its load to three towns. Sometimes, workers unloaded more packs than what was allocated to the town, resulting in the shortage of relief packs in the last unloading job.

There was also pilferage in the Capitol repacking last year, Jao said. That’s why repacking of relief goods is now done at the LGU, she said.

No to suggestion

A canteen employee was caught on a Capitol security camera last year stealing the contents of relief packs from abroad. The private canteen employee was charged but was eventually forgiven.

Meanwhile, Ramirez said the three truckloads of relief goods are not enough for the 15 towns and one city in the north.

He also said the relief goods should have been allocated to each LGU instead of sending the trucks to Bogo City.

It’s more complicated if mayors have to contact Capitol to request for a delivery (of relief goods), he said. “What if there is no power like in previous typhoons? How can we call Capitol?” Ramirez asked.

There have been suggestions to deliver the relief goods directly to the barangays, but the mayor found this ridiculous.

“Nagkalisod man gani pag-deliver sa lungsod nga 15 ra ka buok, kana pang 181 ka barangay sa fourth district (They had a hard time delivering relief goods to the 15 towns what more the 181 barangays in the fourth district),” he said.

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