Public asked to inspect aid amid report of expired items
Recipients of family food packs from the Department of Social Welfare and Development have been asked to report to the agency or its local offices concerns on the condition of the goods given them.
DSWD-Cordillera Director Leo Quintilla made the appeal during an online briefing on April 17, while clarifying the issue on the expired relief goods that were distributed as part of the agency’s response efforts to the coronavirus disease-2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
Quintilla said the reported expired DSWD family food packs that were given to some beneficiaries were part of the relief items that were downloaded to local government units to be distributed to families affected by Typhoon Ompong in 2018.
Without naming the LGUs that distributed the expired items, Quintilla said the DSWD already recalled the commodities to be subjected for disposal.
He assured that the ones being handed out by the DSWD in response to the Covid-19 pandemic are fresh stocks.
“The expired DSWD family food packs given out by the LGUs were supposed to have been distributed during Typhoon Ompong, but for one reason or another, these were not distributed. Ngayon lang lumabas sa kanilang warehouse. We want to assure the public that the relief items from DSWD are fresh raw materials. These are from our current production,” he said.
Quintilla asked families receiving the DSWD family packs to inspect not only the date of expiration, but also the physical conditions of the commodities.
“We ask families that before they leave the distribution areas, they should check the quality of the food packs. Hindi lang expiry ang binabantayan natin. If the items are dented, they should return these and the DSWD will replace them with new,” Quintilla said.
The DSWD downloads the family food packs to the cities and municipalities, which in turn distribute these to beneficiaries in their respective areas of jurisdiction.
The DSWD family packs are different from the items purchased by the LGUs using their calamity funds.
He said food packs contained in DSWD-labeled boxes or plastic bags should not be repacked.
The DSWD family food packs contain six kilos of rice, two cans sardines, four cans each of tuna and corned beef, and five sachets each of 3-in-1 coffee and powdered chocolate or milk cereal drink.
Quintilla said as of April 16, the DSWD has released 34,000 food packs to various LGUs in the region.
There are 25,000 food packs on stand-by at the DSWD regional office, which would be released if there are LGUs that will request for an augmentation.
Quintilla said the DSWD is expecting another 25,000 relief packs next week.
Individuals who observe or experience irregularities concerning family food packs from the DSWD may report to the local DSWD offices or at the agency’s field office at 40 North Drive, Baguio City or through 661-0430 loc. 25023/25034/25019 or 0917-871-9893 or 0919-065-5365. Queries may also be sent through https://www.facebook.com/dswdfocar. – Jane B. Cadalig