Town officer belies ‘anomaly’ with relief donations
Michael Vencynth H. Braga/JMO (The Freeman) - January 5, 2015 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - An officer at the agriculture office in Asturias has belied reports the town has sold fishing materials donated for survivors of super typhoon Yolanda.

Requesting anonymity owing to an ongoing investigation, the officer explained the mix-up, saying the town’s supplier for fishing materials for its “plant-now-pay-later scheme” for fishermen also supplies for non-government organizations that have extended aid to Yolanda survivors.

The officer looked in the allegations after The Freeman reported the complaint of a resident in the town. The resident said her father is among those who availed of the loan scheme and received the fishing materials with a sticker of a humanitarian organization.

“Ang polisiya sa among supplier, kami pakuhaon sa mga materials didto sa ilang bodega. Wa nabantayan nga ang materials (with stickers) maoy nakarga,” the officer told The FREEMAN.

What they failed to do, he admitted, is to check if the materials they retrieved from the supplier’s warehouse were the ones that were intended for the town.

“Naa pud mi lapses kay wa namo na-check,” he said.         

The municipal fishery technician reportedly noticed the sticker when the fishing materials were delivered to the town but thought that it was just the brand.

“Impossible pud kaayo nga naay anomalya sa pagpanghatag or gipa-loan ang mga typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) relief (materials) kay ang Asturias dili man identified nga affected area sa Yolanda. Wa mi nadawat nga Yolanda relief,” the officer added.

The fishing materials were distributed to fishermen in October last year after they loaned P12, 000 worth of fishing materials from the municipality under of the Integrated Livelihood Program of DOLE and the local government unit.

The program, which aims to “project sustainability” allows recipients to pay for the loan by 2016.

The officer thanked the resident who brought the issue up. He said the Municipal Council is now looking further into the matter.  (FREEMAN)


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