DSWD to probe complaint on food packs for Marawi

MANILAAn official of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Wednesday said the agency will look into claims that relief packs distributed to evacuees in Marawi only consisted of cans of sardines.

DSWD Undersecretary Luzviminda Ilagan said the food packs they have been distributing to internally-displaced persons (IDPs) in Marawi contained various canned good like corned beef, meat loat and cereals.

"Nagtataka rin ako (I was even wondering) because we have made efforts to change the contents of the foodpacks," Ilagan said, noting that the packing mechanism has been modernized by placing them in boxes so that they will not be relabeled by unscrupulous individuals.

The allegation surfaced during a DSWD event in Quezon City when one of the IDP representatives aired their grievance on the food packs, noting they want these relief goods be converted into cash assistance instead.

Sowara Miyamagoyag said that for more than 10 months after the Marawi siege, they are getting tired of getting canned sardines from the DSWD.

"We asked for cash assistance instead of relief goods. Kasi po more than 10 months, sardines, NFA rice, a very low quality rice, low quality sardines yun po binibigay sa amin (that's what's given to us)," she said.

Miyamagoyag also proposed that the funds for building temporary shelters be given to the IDPs directly.

"Kung ibibigay yun sa amin maipapatayo na namin ang bahay namin ulit, kahit simple lang di tulad ng dati. But at least di nyo na kami problema kasi sa amin na yun (If the funds would be given to us, we can rebuild our homes even they're not the same houses. But at least, we would not be your problem anymore because it's ours)," she added

She said that being Maranao, who are known as traders, they could easily recover from the devastation if given the proper assistance from the government.

"Give us a start-up capital at kaya pong palaguin yan ng mga Maranao. Kasi sanay po kami mag-business. Sanay po kaming magbilad sa araw (Give us a start-up capital and Maranao can make business from that because we are used to doing business. We are used to be under the sun)," she said.

She also suggested for a third party to monitor all the development and rehabilitation projects to be undertaken in Marawi.

Source: Philippine News Agency

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