DSWD Sec. Taguiwalo apologizes for disposal of expired relief goods in Dumaguete Dumpsite

In reports to the media, Regional Director of DSWD-NIR Field Office (FO) Shalaine Marie Lucero admitted that the disposal was administered by the Field Office. The goods had already expired earlier in June, but the FO disposed of them only last September 2 in coordination with Department of Health (DOH), the Commission on Audit (COA) and the Dumaguete City’s Environment and Natural Resources Office (ENRO). It was only reported to the Secretary on October 2.

A total of P170,981.20 worth of expired rice and relief goods were allegedly buried in a dumpsite in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental.

The actual count/breakdown recently released by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) shows that these goods were damaged, expired or spoiled since June but were only disposed of last September 2.

Below is the list of the disposed goods according to the report submitted by the DSWD Field Office:

  • 22,310 pieces of 3-in-1 coffee 20 gram-packs (P100,395.00)
  • 821 kilos of rice (P20,525.00)
  • 484 cans of beef loaf (P7,139.00)
  • 45 pcs of instant noodles 55 gram-packs (P225.00)
  • 4,186 cans of sardines (P42,497.20)
In a press statement, DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo wanted a full explanation from the Field Office why the goods were not released to the people. She also apologized to the Filipino for the lapses committed by her agency and issued new guidelines to ensure that such things would not happen again.

“I was greatly disturbed by these reports and I apologize to the public that this has happened. We have been trying the last three months under the new administration to assure people that what happened in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda — when rice meant for the typhoon survivors were allowed to spoil and then had to be buried secretly – would never happen again. So it is very disappointing that this happened.” - Taguiwalo said

“These relief goods were purchased using government funds, and this immediately means that they are property of Filipino people.” Taguiwalo added.

The incident sparked outrage in the local community, especially because such goods could have fed thousands of families that were left devastated by the Super Typhoon Yolanda.

According to the new guidelines released by Sec. Taguiwalo, these steps will be undertaken to avoid goods getting spoiled:

1. The DSWD will provide regular guidance to LGUs on warehousing and inventory management.

2. Spot checks will be conducted in the LGUs to examine the prepositioned goods.

3. The DSWD will refrain from accepting about-to-expire goods – or with shelf life less than six months – from donor organizations or other units.

4. The DSWD will consider using stored goods with a remaining shelf life of six months for distribution to beneficiaries of the food-for-work scheme.

Source: Definitely Filipino, Interaksyon, news.pia.gov.ph

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