MANILA - A municipal officer of the Department of Social Welfare and Development confirmed dumping spoiled food intended for survivors of super typhoon Yolanda.
Lina Balderas, municipal social welfare development officer of Palo, Leyte, said the DSWD had to dump about 3-4 sacks of spoiled rice since the grains were no longer fit for consumption.
She also said the DSWD had to dump donated biscuits that were already expired and could no longer be consumed.
"The rice is about 3-4 sacks na soiled dahil sa nabasa nung kasagsagan pa na umuulan kaya nabasa, na-damage...The biscuits, mga durog na biscuits tinipon-tipon dahil hindi na pwedeng ipamigay at pina-certify namin sa municipal health officer na unfit for human consumption," she said in an interview on radio DZMM.
The social welfare officer said the spoiled biscuits were included in relief packs that had to be opened and checked by DSWD personnel. "During the repacking, dun na po nakikita," she said.
Similarly, the DSWD also had to dump about 3 sacks of used clothes that were already beginning to smell as well as shoes that could no longer be used.
"Used clothing there were about 3 sacks na sira din po atsaka may amoy na kasi during the delivery parang naano yun ng ulan so hindi na pwedeng ipamigay. Atsaka yung iba po, may mga shoes na wala namang pares o sira naman ang soles so hindi rin pwedeng ipamigay," she said.
Most of the used clothes came from the port of Isabel, Leyte.
Balderas denied a newspaper report that truckloads of spoiled goods had to be dumped. She said all the spoiled goods fit in just one garbage truck along with regular garbage.
"I just want to clarify na hindi po truckloads. Yung inilagay for dumping kasi sa garbage truck inilagay. May mga kasama po yun na boxes na empty. Siguro akala nila madami kasi may mga empty boxes din po yun," she said.
The DSWD official said they will soon be distributing coffee to the Yolanda victims.
Secretary Sonny Coloma of the Presidential Communication Operations Office (PCOO) earlier said he wants to verify a newspaper report that some typhoon survivors are complaining that government failed to distribute relief goods immediately, causing them to get spoiled.
A Manila Standard Today report said truckloads of food aid that had gone bad were buried in an open dump in Barangay San Jose, Tacloban City on February 5 and March 6.
"Baka ang kailangan na lang diyan ay alamin kung mayroong bang naging pagkukulang, kung meron bang lapses na naging sanhi na hindi naipamahagi, di ba? O hindi naipasakamay ng mga dapat makatanggap nung mga relief goods na yon. Absent that, kung talagang nag-expire na yung kanilang palatability o iyong useful life, iresponsable naman na ipapamigay pa yon," Coloma said.