Ten days after Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed an order creating a special commission for the country’s reconstruction after the country was ravaged by typhoons, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) which was tasked to lead the effort is now being questioned due to “rotting” goods in one of its warehouses.
An article from a long-time blogger and alleged DSWD volunteer named Ella had been circulating over the internet Friday morning and blogs accusing the department of hoarding donated goods and supplies instead of sending them out to the people.
Related pictures showing the warehouse being full of supplies donated from within the country and from other countries were seen inside the said warehouse. Bloggers had termed said goods as “rotting” inside the government warehouse.
Blog ni Ella, where it all started.
In a related story by gmanews.tv, DSWD Secretary Esperenza Cabral sheepishly says the donated goods were not “rotting”.
“Walang nabubulok. Stocks ‘yun na hindi perishable (Nothing is rotting. Those stocks are non-perishable), ” she said.
So that’s how she understood “rotting”. Take that from somebody who’s a cardiologist.
According to Ella, for one to be able to provide volunteer service, one had to register first and have them scheduled because the warehouse could only accommodate 50 volunteers per shift of 4 or 6 hours. But unlike most repacking or donation centers where volunteers were busy repacking most of the goods, only a few were seen inside the said DSWD warehouse.
So apparently, having to fill out a form and wait for your schedule to volunteer in a warehouse where there seem to be virtually no volunteer in sight is mind boggling.
In a related telephone interview, when Philippine News asked the office of Secretary Cabral “why the relief goods are not moving”, after a few calls, they merely said “wala kasing volunteers (there are no volunteers)”
The statement can hardly be believed.
After the Typhoon Ondoy and Pepeng hit Luzon, there was a tremendous outpouring of support from all Filipinos and even non-Filipinos all over the world sending millions of donation in forms of cash and goods. Most Filipinos have shared anything they can afford and lots have flocked to donation centers to help repack and distribute goods.
The whole world has witnessed these so-called Bayanihan efforts, with every single Filipino doing his/her share. So for the goods not to move because of the lack of volunteers is simply unimaginable.
Just hours after the article was posted in Ella’s blog www.ellaganda.com, it became inaccessible, prompting a lot of bloggers to insinuate that someone from the government is trying to sabotage Ella’s story.
Fortunately, it already had been picked up by Barrio Siete, a blog forum, and other bloggers including the pictures and posted it on their blogs and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Just ten days ago, Mrs. Arroyo signed an order for the creation of a commission composed of the government and the private sector that would seek $1 billion in aid for the country’s reconstruction. It would also pretty much siphon all donations for the victims of the recent typhoons and centralize it into the DSWD to avoid tax and duties.
If these donated goods were any indication, I wonder where the new Reconstruction Comission is going to do with all the funds it is supposed to get.
Hell, don’t ask me.