MANILA - The provincial government of Catanduanes on Thursday said it continues to deliver relief goods to residents affected by the typhoon amid allegations that donations in kind and in cash go through the governor’s family foundation first.
“Nag-umpisa na kaming magbigay sa mga barangay sa Bato kung saan nga from Nov. 2 to Nov. 10, 16 barangays ang nabigyan namin out of 23 barangays ng municipality of Bato,” said Gov. Joseph Cua.
(We started distributing to barangays in Bato from Nov. 2 to Nov. 10 where 16 out of 23 barangays in the Municipality of Bato were served.)
Cua was reacting to an earlier statement made by Bato Mayor Juan Rodulfo regarding the delay or the slow distribution of relief goods to residents.
Cua said they have provided relief goods to Bato residents four times already.
The governor said a meeting with the League of Municipalities was also held on Wednesday, where Mayor Rodulfo was present.
Rodulfo, on Wednesday, suggested tapping his office to help in the distribution of the needed relief goods to their affected residents.
Cua, in an interview on TeleRadyo said there is a process that must be followed for cash donations before it is dispersed.
“Ang pag-disperse ng cash donation dadaan sa Council. After the council, for approval ng Sangguniang Panlalawigan,” he said.
(The disbursement of cash donation goes through the Council. After that it needs approval from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.)
The province has received more than P33 million in cash donations from both the private and public sector.
“Hindi naman pag natanggap mo na 'yung pera madi-disburse mo na. May proseso po 'yan. Pag may proseso madedelay,” he said.
(When you receive the money, it does not mean it can be disbursed already. There's a process. There is delay when there's a process.)
The provincial government, he said, will take care of the disbursement. Part of the funds will go to the purchase of corrugated G.I. sheets and hardware materials for residents whose houses were totally damaged by the typhoon.
“Kami ang magdi-disburse kung anong mga kailangang bibilhin kung saan ang naaprubahan namin sa P30 plus million na natanggap ng kapitolyo is more on pagbili ng yero,” he said.
(We will disburse what needs to be purchased and part of the approved more than P30 million received by the Capitol will be used to buy corrugated G.I. sheets.)
The mayor of Bato also sought for transparency and accountability for donated goods after tons of construction materials were allegedly directed to the foundation of Cua’s family.
Cua explained that the Ando Cua Foundation only offered free logistics as they are in the business of trucking.
“Nagkaroon ng isyu d'yan dahil nga nagbiyahe 'yung BRP Tarlac papuntang Catanduanes, kulang 'yung cargo so 'yung nandoon sa warehouse ng Ando Cua Foundation sa Manila 6 na truck ang kinarga doon kung saan mayroong papuntang Bato nandoon sa warehouse namin. May tag 'yun na Ando Cua Foundation para libre 'yung pamasahe,” he said.
(There was an issue there because when the BRP Tarlac sailed for Catanduanes, they lacked the cargo, so those that were at the warehouse of the Ando Cua Foundation in Manila, 6 trucks in all, were loaded into the vessel, including donations for Bato that were in the warehouse. They were tagged Ando Cua Foundation to avail of the free fare.)
Despite efforts of the provincial government, Cua said they continue to receive negative comments on social media.
“Hindi nawawala ang politika ngayon, bina-bash tayo sa social media kung saan dinadaan pa doon (foundation). ‘Di po dinadaan doon, nag-offer kami ng free logistics sa mga gustong mag padala ng donasyon from Manila,” he stressed.
(This is still politics, were being bashed on social media where donations are allegedly directed to the foundation. We only offer free logistics for those who want to send donations from Manila.)