Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II on Tuesday ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to investigate reports on alleged hoarding of relief goods already delivered to towns and barangays by disaster officials from the national and provincial government.
In a statement Tuesday, Roxas directed Chief Supt. Danilo Constantino, PNP director for Region 7, to help ensure that all relief goods delivered to municipalities would immediately reach residents displaced by the October 15 killer quake.
“Hindi naman tama na itago sa mga opisina ang mga relief goods na bigay ng national at provincial government. Kung talagang may nangyayaring ganito, dapat managot sa batas ang sinumang responsible sa relief hoarding (It is not right to delay the distribution of relief goods given by the national and provincial governments. If this is really happening, the law should be imposed on those responsible for the hoarding of relief goods),” the DILG chief said.
Roxas issued the order after the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reported to him that some residents displaced by the quake in Bohol have not received relief goods allegedly due to hoarding by municipal and barangay officials.
“Inaatasan ko ang lahat ang Chief of Police sa Bohol na tumulong sa pag-monitor ng delivery ng relief goods. Dapat siguruhin na makakarating ang mga ito kahit sa malalayong residente na apektado ng lindol (I am directing all police chiefs in Bohol to help monitor the delivery of relief goods. We must ensure that these items reach even the remotest residents affected by the quake),” he said.
The DILG Chief added that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), together with volunteer groups of mountaineers and hikers, have also dispatched teams to help in the delivery of relief goods even to far-flung barangays devastated by the killer quake.
“Wala nang dahilan para hindi maabot ng relief goods ang mga kababayan natin na nasalanta ng lindol. Sinisiguro ng pamahalaan na may sapat na supply ng relief goods at may daan para maipaabot ito sa mga tao (There is no more reason to delay the distribution of relief goods. The government is ensuring there is enough supply and roads are open for these items to reach affected residents),” the DILG chief stressed.
As of Sunday night, the DSWD reported that government personnel and volunteer groups have delivered a total of 94,300 family food packs or an average of 22,000 a day to damaged areas in Bohol.
Roxas said DSWD personnel in the province are also stepping up their repacking operations in order to increase their delivery to 30,000 a day for at least another week.
“Hindi kailangang magtago ng relief goods dahil sa takot na maubos agad ito. May sapat na supply ang DSWD para pakainin ang mga taong apektado ng lindol araw-araw (There is no reason to hold relief goods for fear that supply will be exhausted. The DSWD has enough supply to daily feed affected residents),” he pointed out.
Meanwhile, Roxas also noted that personnel from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Provincial Engineering Office have been working almost 24 hours a day to ensure that all roads remain inter-connected and that no municipality is isolated from the major highways.
“All towns are fully accessible. The previously isolated towns of Loon, Maribojoc and Antiquera are now reachable in two hours from Tagbilaran,” he said.
Last October 19, Roxas himself drove the lead vehicle of a convoy that visited the towns of Sagbayan, Clarin, Tubigon, Antiquera, Maribojoc, Catigbian, Balilihan and Corella to check the condition of the roads, bridges, and evacuation centers.
The convoy, which included DSWD Sec. Dinky Soliman, Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto, and other local officials, travelled 250 kilometers within six hours through reopened and alternate roads.
“Sinigurado namin na bukas lahat ang mga daan patungo sa lugar na grabe ang epekto ng lindol kaya walang dahilan para sabihin na hindi ito mararating ng mga pagkain, tubig at iba pang pangangailangan ng ating mga kababayan (We ensured that all roads are open leading to heavily affected areas, so there is no more reason for the delay in the distribution of relief goods),” Roxas said. PNA