The elder son of President Rodrigo Duterte has urged the Bureau of Customs (BoC) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to donate abandoned and seized rice and other goods to the people as the country faces the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) crisis.
Earlier this week, Davao City First District Rep. Paolo Duterte instructed the BoC in Davao to release eight units of 40-foot abandoned container vans carrying medical equipment.
These had been distributed to the Southern Philippines Medical Center to augment their supplies amid the fight against Covid-19.
On Thursday, the Customs bureau discovered 100 to 300 containers of rice and another 100 to 300 containers of dried fish that had been seized and abandoned.
“We will have these turned over to DSWD. But we urge them to ease the process, so we can distribute these to families as soon as possible. We know that there is a process but this should be treated with urgency. We need to feed the people and these could help,” Duterte said
“Through this initiative, we’re hitting two birds with one stone. On one hand, we’ll have more food to distribute to families who needs them the most. On the other, our ports will be decongested upon the release of these container vans, making way for incoming shipments containing essential goods like PPEs (personal protective equipment). It’s a win-win situation for us,” he added.
The lawmaker said the process of release and turn over to the DSWD would be closely monitored.
“So, if there are more seized and abandoned shipments with items that could benefit the people, I appeal to the Bureau of Customs to have it donated and delivered,” Duterte said.