September 4, 2006

This is a press release from the DSWD, Aug. 28, 2006. Beware.

UPON orders of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), in cooperation with the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council of Guimaras, Petron and donor non-government organizations, are making sure that there are enough food and relief supplies for the oil spill victims of Guimaras.

Social Welfare and Development Secretary Esperanza I. Cabral said that the DSWD has distributed to fisherfolks last week 1,000 packs of relief goods funded by Petron Foundation. Another 1,000 packs are being readied this week.

Secretary Cabral also said that the DSWD Field Office VI initially released to the province of Guimaras on August 13, some 20 bags of rice and 15 boxes of sardines to augment the province’s relief efforts.

Secretary Cabral reported the status of other relief assistance and the sources of goods, as follows:

1. From the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office – 400 packs of relief goods composed of sardines, noodles and rice worth P100,000.00 were turned over to Nueva Valencia, Guimaras on August 25.

2. From the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council – 350 bags of rice are available; the Office of Civil Defense has committed to release 500 bags of rice for delivery to the PDCC; 1,500 family packs are presently available for distribution; the province of Guimaras will purchase canned goods this week;

3. From the DSWD – 652 packs are available at the Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth, DSWD’s disaster operation center in Region VI; 90 packs were sent to Onisan island last Saturday, August 26.

4. Mirant – 600 packs are available for distribution today, August 28, in San Lorenzo.

The DSWD has prepositioned P 2.5 M with its Field Office VI which will be used to augment the relief efforts of the provincial government for the victims of the oil spill in Guimaras. Further, they are operating a cash-for-work program with Petron Foundation which provides P200 per day for the men and women who are assisting in the clean up of the oil spill in the municipality of Nueva Valencia. The cash for work program will also be established this week in the municipality of Sibunag and San Lorenzo by the DSWD and Petron Foundation.

THEN a little birdie told me that cash assistance being turned over by Petron to some barangay captains in Guimaras are disappearing into whose pockets, we can’t say. People are still going hungry on the island, and Petron doesn’t even bother to follow up how its financial assistance is being used. I guess for this company’s officials, as long as they’ve turned over the money, they couldn’t care less what happens. The act alone has already salved their collective guilty conscience.

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