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#ANONGBALITA DSWD mediates as Antique execs fight over ‘ayuda’

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The Department of Social Welfare and Development had to step in and clarify the distribution process for the family food packs it sent for the drought-stricken residents of Tobias Fornier town in Antique.

DSWD sent its regional director for Western Visayas Carmelo Nochete to explain the guidelines before Mayor Ernesto Tajanlangit III and Vice Mayor Jose Maria Fornier.

The two local executives figured in a heated confrontation that turned physical recently over the delivery of “ayuda” to its intended beneficiaries.

Per the DSWD standard protocol, relief packs from the national government must only be distributed after securing the approval of the agency’s Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC).

Nochete personally oversaw the recovery and distribution of the 1,800 food packs in question to the affected families in Tobias Fornier on Tuesday, April 30, according to a report by Daily Guardian.

“We need to follow the process because the assistance from the government came from the taxes we are paying. If we take advantage of this aid from the government, we can be filed a compliant and removed from our post,” Tajanlangit said in Ilonggo.

“Government aid must go to those who were affected by El Niño,” he added in one of his status updates on Facebook.

Tajanlangit has since expressed regret over the incident. Antique is one of the provinces severely hit by drought and is currently under state of calamity.

While it was Fornier who made the request from the agency, the mayor argued that it should be coursed through their Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO).

In a television interview, DSWD spokesperson and Assistant Secretary Irene Dumlao explained that the agency follows a distribution list whenever it delivers food packs to their intended recipients. This is based on their relief prepositioning agreement (RPA) with local government units (LGU).

“The DSWD has RPAs with the LGUs, which grants permission to the agency to preposition food packs in warehouses in strategic locations nationwide to expedite the process of delivering assistance in times of disasters or emergencies,” Dumlao told GMA News in mix of English and Filipino.


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