MANILA, Dec. 11 (Mabuhay) – Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Soliman on Wednesday vehemently denied reports circulating in the foreign media that donations from the US and UK consisting of MREs (meal-ready-to-eat) are being diverted and sold in markets.
She said that this claim is preposterous as the two nations did not made any food donations to the Philippines.
“Per DSWD’s records, the UK donations that have entered the country only include non-food items such as shelter boxes, communication equipment, solar lights, and blankets among others,” Soliman said during a briefing at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
She also added that these items are impossible to divert as all are consigned to non-government organizations and United Nations agencies except for the 504 tents which arrived in Manila last Nov. 25 and were consigned to the DSWD and another 576 relief tents and 224 shelter boxes which arrived in Cebu on Nov. 13 that are consigned to the DSWD-Field Office 7.
Soliman said that consignees of the UK non-food aid received in Manila include:
Plan International Philippines with 504 units of tents from Shelter Box Trust Limited, UK;
Plan International Philippines with 54 packages of communication equipment (emergency equipment) from British Telecommunications PLC, UK; and.
Philippine Relief and Development Services (PHILRADS) with pallets of relief goods from Catalents CTS, Deeside UK.
The other consignees of UK donations in Cebu are:
International Organization for Migration with 6,000 high thermal synthetic blankets and 10,000 buckets from DFID-UK;
International Organization for Migration with 3,510 solar light kits from DFID-UK;
International Organization for Migration with 1,296 India Impex Solar Lanterns from DFID-UK;
MSF, Haiyan Cyclone Response with seven packages of medicines from MSF Holland;
and Handicap International Cebu with 702 pieces of Impex Solar Lanterns from DFID-UK.
Soliman also stressed that donations from the US in form of their aerial assets which consist of lift capability from their Lockheed C-130 “Hercules” cargo aircraft, V-22 “Osprey” tilt-rotor planes, UH-1H combat utility helicopters and personnel and assorted aircraft from the USS George Washington (CVN-73) battle group.
These military personnel and aircraft were instrumental in the earlier stages of clearing and relief delivery operations.
Soliman said high protein food stored in tetrapacks coming from the American government was distributed by the USAID to the affected people. (MNS)