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DDS remain silent after COA calls out DSWD over undistributed Typhoon Ulysses donations

The latest news reminded netizens how the critics of Pres. Noynoy Aquino constantly blasted him over his administration’s handling of Typhoon Yolanda’s aftermath

The Commission on Audit (COA) has called out the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) over the undistributed in-kind donations for victims of Typhoon Ulysses in November 2020.

The 2021 annual audit report on the DSWD said that the department’s Field Office II in the Cagayan Valley region received a total of 126,172 in-kind donations from various donors from late 2020 until early 2021.

However, it was discovered that 21,824 of the donations were undistributed, with some already rotten and damaged by rats.

“During the inspection, we observed that 223 sachets of milk/choco powder, in particular, were already expired and destroyed by rats while 1,434 bottles/tablets of medicines are about to expire in April 2022. For canned goods, though not yet expired, they were exposed to rotting and damage,” read the audit report released July 15.

The COA said that the Regional Resource Operation Section (RROS) violated the Government Accounting Manual by distributing 30,656 non-food items and 8,140 food items without proof of issuance or distribution to recipients and evidence of conversion to family food packs.

The RROS also didn’t submit reports of in-kind donations to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) through the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD).

According to the auditing body, the RROS explained that the release of funds wasn’t tracked due to the overwhelming number of donations.

“Moreover, the RROS head was not aware that submission of reports to proper authority is required,” COA said.

“The RROS head commented that it’s the DRMD (Disaster Response and Management Division) Chief who decides where to issue the balances of in-kind donations, and he has no control over their options of recipients,” said COA in its report.

COA said that the failure of the donations to reach the typhoon victims “deprived the intended beneficiaries of the aid that they should have received at the time they need it as well as the donors who entrusted their donations to the agency.”

“Also, the transparency and accountability in the use of aid/donations was significantly affected especially that this has become an issue of considerable importance for donors and the public,” COA stressed.

The latest news reminded netizens how the critics of Pres. Noynoy Aquino constantly blasted him over his administration’s handling of Typhoon Yolanda’s aftermath.

The Yolanda issue crippled Aquino’s administration and is still being discussed.

The die-hard Duterte supporters remain silent on the Typhoon Ulysses issue.

Meanwhile, the DSWD promised that the agency would properly distribute goods to intended beneficiaries.

“Yung mga problema doon sa previous admin, hindi na kami nagde-dwell diyan [We no longer dwell on the problems of the previous administration],” Assistant Secretary Rommel Lopez said in an interview with CNN Philippines.

“Basta we want to assure the public on our part dito sa DSWD ngayon, under (Secretary Erwin Tulfo’s) term, we’ll make sure na lahat mabilis, lahat maiksi yung proseso, at lahat ay maaabutan ng tulong.” he added.

Written by Charles Teves

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