Donated goods for Yolanda victims wasted

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Millions worth of donation from Belgium for typhoon Yolanda victims arrived on January 2014 only to be neglected for years until it spoiled due to delays, compliance issues, transportation costs, and other hindrances at that time.
Photo credits: iReport

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office (DSWD FO) VII issued its report on the incident to current DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo last January 31, 2017 explaining the circumstances that led to the spoilage of 12 container vans of donated goods from Belgium.

The report detailed that the vans which contained the donated goods from Wellmade Motors and Development Corporation (WMDC) arrived on January 2014 and were transported around February 2014.

It took ten months before the DSWD FO VII released a Deed of Donation and Acceptance for WMDC’s seven container vans shipped through K-Line. On the other hand, the other five containers sent through APL Shipping were not considered because of the Bill of Lading in favor of DSWD.

The DSWD was informed that the fees for the release of the five container vans amounted to Php 10 million. The DSWD FO VII submitted the Work and Financial plan to the DSWD Central Office on November 26, 2014, but because the Central Office gave no response, the DSWD FO VII allotted Php 400,000 from the Yolanda funds for the release of the five container vans.

It was only on January 7, 2015 when the Informal Import Declaration and Entry was signed by DSWD, DOH, DOF, and BOC, however it lacked the Bill of Lading and packing lists to which the Central Office was alerted to.

The delay caused the withdrawal of the five container vans on March 20, 2015 and was temporarily stored in the CICC. It was only on March 21, 2015 when the vans were opened and it revealed that the cardboard boxes and its content were damaged and expired since it has been 14 months since it was delivered to the Philippines.

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Along with the unusable goods from the five container vans sent through APL Shipping, there was also two of the seven container vans sent through K-Line Shipping that was reported to the DSWD Secretary at that time, Corazon “Dinky” Soliman stating that it should be left unwithdrawn from BOC due to its spoilage.

On December 2016, an inspection of the vans was conducted with Mr. Patrick Lami, the Belgian representative of the donor, and it revealed that the two vans from K-Line were water damaged, but the goods in the five other vans seemed dry. It was taken to the Labangon compound for segregation.

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Current DSWD Secretary Taguiwalo recounts these events with regret.

“DSWD will learn from this most unfortunate event and the more enforce its internal measures to ensure that this will not happen again. We take responsibility for what happened and ask the Filipino people, especially the survivors of Yolanda to forgive us,” she said. 

Under a new administration, she promised to “put into place a better, faster, and more efficient mechanism to receive material donations and turn them over to their intended beneficiaries.”


Donated goods for Yolanda victims wasted Donated goods for Yolanda victims wasted Reviewed by Newsinfo Learn on February 07, 2017 Rating: 5

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