TACLOBAN CITY- The discovered spoiled food packs intended for the victims of Supertyphoon Yolanda is more than enough a reason for Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman to step down.
Thus said the spokesperson of the People Surge, a group composed of Yolanda survivors, amid the discovery of thousands of spoiled food packs worth P2.7 million inside the relief distribution center of the DSWD
Marissa Cabaljao said that while they were calling for Soliman’s resignation since March, this latest “anomaly” only further justified their demand for the Secretary’s resignation.
“The discovered spoiled food packs could have been distributed to Yolanda victims had it not for Soliman’s inefficiency as a Secretary,” Cabaljao said in a phone interview.
The group had been calling for Soliman’s head after their demands were not heeded. The group had demanded for a P40, 000 financial assistance, continued distribution of food assistance and to stop the implementation of the no build zone, prohibiting families to live in areas identified as risk areas like living near a coastal area.
Based on a report by the Commission on Audit, some 7,527 family food packs worth P2.7 million were discovered to have been spoiled and were not distributed by the DSWD for survivors of Yolanda in the Visayas.
The food items consisted of 95,472 assorted canned goods; 81 packs of noodles; and, 21 sacks of rice.
Cabaljao said that they were shocked that this big number of relief food packs just went to waste.
“Had they distributed these food packs in time, they could have helped thousands of families who are hungry and remain to be hungry up to now,” she said.
The group also said that the discovery of the spoiled food packs only vindicated their earlier claims that there were relief goods distributed to the victims that were no longer fit for human consumption.
For typhoon victim Flora Gatmaitan, 47, she feels “angry” that the government had allowed this situation to occur.
“The government, in effect, denied the thousands of people who could have availed these food packs. They should be considerate enough that while the typhoon happened ten months ago, many of the victims could hardly afford to buy their foods,” she said.