Dinky denies shutting down 'Oplan: Hatid'


Posted at Nov 21 2013 03:19 PM | Updated as of Nov 22 2013 03:07 AM

MANILA - Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman dispelled rumors that the agency is shutting down “Oplan: Hatid” and “Operation: Yakap” at the Villamor Airbase.

She also clarified that they did not ask the private volunteers to move the initiative to Camp Aguinaldo
in Quezon City.

Soliman said it is the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) repacking center based in
Villamor that is being transferred to Camp Aguinaldo.

Last night, volunteers voiced their frustration over reports that the DSWD is shutting down “Oplan: Hatid” which is an outreach program that welcomes evacuees flying in from Tacloban. Volunteers feed evacuees and give them free rides to whatever part of Metro Manila they are headed to.

Soliman again appealed to the public not to easily fall for rumors especially ones relating to efforts to help Yolanda victims.

The transfer to Aguinaldo is supposedly a result of the turf war between DSWD and officials in Villamor Airbase.

In a Facebook post, “Oplan: Hatid” organizer James Deakin said: “We are being kicked out of Villamor. Yes, all of us. We’re being shut down. Not just Oplan Hatid, but the entire relief effort, I’m told. I’m too upset to get into details, but in a nutshell, as of 12pm tomorrow [Thursday], ALL evacuees will be transferred by government bus to Aguinaldo. What they plan for them there, I do not know. Nobody does. All I know is that they don’t need our help. The government, that is, not the survivors.”

He added, “The only quote I got was: ‘The public should not be asking the local government to help in this time, but the other way around.’” – from a report by Jenny Reyes, ABS-CBN News