Department of Social Welfare and Development Regional Office 6 director Ma. Evelyn B. Macapobre on Friday told Senate Pres. Franklin M. Drilon that there are no available sardines that can be bought from traders in Iloilo except for the 750 boxes remaining in their warehouse.
In Friday’s briefing here, Macapobre said this is why she and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Regional director Dominic Abad met with retailers in the city, which is the center of trade and commerce for Western Visayas, to ask if they still have stocks that could be bought for the relief operations.
The DSWD director said that she is now facing a problem since there are only 750 boxes of sardines available so by Saturday she does not know where to get the stocks for the family packs.
She said that traders in Iloilo could not get stocks from Cebu or Manila because it is sending stocks to Tacloban and Samar which have been heavily affected by the typhoon.
I need 17,500 boxes of sardines today and tomorrow to distribute to the remaining families that have not been served,” Macapobre said.
She said that she agreed upon requests of the affected local government units to provide three repacking stations in Capiz, Aklan and Antique for fast delivery of the goods but the problem is there is no more stocks of sardines.
Iloilo fifth district congressman Niel Tupas, Jr., who was also present at the briefing, asked for another repacking station to be set up in Barotac Viejo for the northern towns.
Macapobre said that she is requesting for a naval boat to be sent to Zamboanga to buy more sardine stocks tht could supplied to Western Visayas.
The regular shipment from Zamboanga of sardines without the specially commissioned boat would take around one week to 9 days to get the stocks to Iloilo, she said.
With the projected relief operations still to go on for the next two weeks, the DSWD would need 2,043 tonnes of sardines to feed the victims.
She said that just today, Friday, DSWD Sec. Dinky Soliman has approved P763,117,120 budget she has requested to keep the relief operations go on.
The DSWD official also said that as of Friday, they have released a total of 78,080 family packs valued at P20.4 million. The total number of families affected reached 521,347 with 2,503,252 individuals. There are still 1,952 evacuation centers with 78,909 families inside the centers. PNA