By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte has advised the public to channel their relief donations to typhoon victims through the government instead of some television networks.
The President made the suggestion after he personally witnessed the pilferage of supplies during a relief operation initiated by a television station.
“Huwag kayong maniwala diyan minsan sa… I will not mention it but, ’yung mga prominent TV network. I’m giving you a testimony, personal, ang sabi mag-donate kayo used clothes ganun sa kanila tapos they will give you a bank account number where you can deposit your donation [Do not believe sometimes in, I will not mention it, prominent tv networks. I’m giving you a personal testimony. They say you can donate used clothes and other items then they will give you a bank account number where you can deposit your donation],” Duterte said during a situation briefing in typhoon-hit Isabela Tuesday.
“You’re better off giving it to government or to the military and let them distribute it direct,” he added.
Duterte said he once saw some tv personnel sorting out the relief items and picking those “usable for them.” The incident happened when he was hosting a TV program while he served as mayor of Davao City.
Duterte said he wondered if the TV bosses knew about the irregularity happening on the ground.
“Pero maniwala kayo sa akin (Believe what I say) as your President, I’m giving you what I saw and what I have learned,” he said.
“You’re better off giving it to Red Cross or to government diretso mo, sa military. Hindi naman kailangan ng military ng dami, uniporme ang kanila,” he said.
The President recently authorized the Bureau of Customs (BoC) to release “ukay-ukay” or seized second-hand clothes for the relief operations for victims affected by typhoon Ompong.
Duterte has directed the Department of Social Welfare and Development to coordinate with the customs bureau on the donation of the used clothes in the relief efforts. He also urged the DSWD to vigilant against the pilferage in the distribution of the relief supplies.