The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is once again in hot water after reports surfaced that sacks of rice and various relief goods were allegedly buried in the dumpsite at Brgy. Candauay in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental in central Philippines.
The incident sparked outrage in the local community, especially after the actual count/breakdown was released by the DSWD Field Office (FO) to the media by Regional Director of DSWD-NIR Shalaine Marie Lucero.
According to the report, an inventory of the stocks showed that these goods were damaged, expired or spoiled since June but were disposed of only last September 2 as the DSWD still had to coordinate with Dumaguete City’s Environment and Natural Resources Office (ENRO), the Department of Health (DOH), and the Commission on Audit (COA).
Information about the disposal had, however, only reached DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo on October 2.
According to the report submitted by the DSWD FO, an estimated total of Php170,981.20 of spoiled and expired relief goods were buried in the dumpsite:
- 821 kilos of rice (Php20,525)
- 4,186 cans of sardines (Php42,697.20)
- 22,310 pieces of 3-in-1 coffee 20 gram-packs (worth Php100,395.00)
- 484 cans of beef loaf (Php7,139.00)
- 45 pcs of instant noodles 55 g packs (Php225)
It really is disheartening to hear that these goods were dumped because they were already expired since June – when the DSWD could have well distributed these to thousands of families before these got damaged and expired!
Despite the goods having expired even before she started working as DSWD Secretary, Taguiwalo apologized to the Filipino for the lapses committed by her agency and released a memo for new guidelines to be implemented to ensure that this will not happen again.