Thursday, January 5, 2017

Deceptive mainstream media article on Marinduque relief efforts


It leaves a bad taste in the mouth when mainstream media runs a story and withholds information readily available in the public domain.

The Inquirer today ran an article about what it describes in the subheadline as "squabble among local execs" with the headline,  'Politics taints typhoon relief efforts in Marinduque' 

First, there can be no squabble between Boac Mayor Roberto Madla and Gov. Carmencita Reyes, as they could only be the 'local executives' being referred to, because the issues being raised involved their respective MDRRMC and PDRRMC. They both belong to the Liberal Party.

It all started when Planning Officer Engr. Luna 'Pongkoy' Manrique of the municipal government of Boac posted in his Facebook account what he described as a 'major issue'. (He is also probably the busiest person working day and night as the disaster was unfolding, coordinating relief operations, Manrique is in the front line of the Boac Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC) operations.

Expressing disappointment for what turned out was the unexpected diversion to Catanduanes of relief goods coming from the Davao City Council/Mayor Sara Duterte intended for Marinduque which should have been delivered via two C-130 planes, Manrique posted on  Dec. 30:


"Two C-130 full of relief goods from Mayor Sarah Duterte were diverted yesterday due to the incapability of the airport to accommodate the Cargo plane. Here is the text message: "Abort mission na ung relief donation from mayor sara duterte sa marinduque inilipat ng OCD sa catanduanes, cam sur suralbay area. I am raising this as a major concern." - Manrique

The Boac MDRRMC was on its toes 24/7 monitoring Typhoon NinaPH's path and the necessary evacuation, coordination and relief efforts before, during and after the typhoon. Mayor Roberto Madla of this capital town, together with municipal council members, were likewise engaged in providing relief assistance throughout the situation as it developed.


The day before, Manrique posted: "Our airport cannot accommodate the C130, since the minimum requirement is 1,200 meters runway and the only serviceable length is only 1,070. - Manrique's post Dec. 29.


Reporting things as they happen as part of their work, many other related problems are likewise being reported by those concerned so that immediate solutions are made. This cannot be considered "all part of dirty politics" as described in the mentioned mainstream newspaper.

Solution

In view of the problem encountered, based on reports, donations from Davao were then transported by sea to Marinduque on Dec. 31.

Then DSWD encounters relief packs issue

Even DSWD encountered an issue on the same subject of distribution of relief goods, and decided to solve it. DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo prior to her visit to Marinduque on Dec. 30 was prompted to post the following:


DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo in her above post (Dec. 30), wondered why according to many reports, she said, not a single family food pack (FFP) could be found in Marinduque when these supplies were already prepositioned even before Typhoon Nina struck. In any case, she stated, additional augmentation has been sent on Dec 28: 5000 ffps, 2000 blankets, 2000 sleeping mats, 200 mosquito nets, 500 solar lamps, 2000 hygiene kits. She also added that she was on her way to Marinduque,

Typhoon victims smile after receiving the DSWD FFP's in Masiga, Gasan

Using same photo taken in Gasan, DSWD posted the above meme on its FB page after the Marinduque visit, translated below:
("It is strictly forbidden for local officials to repack the contents of the DSWD food packs . In such instance, you may report to us or to 8888 the incident including photos or any proof of the irregularity you saw." - Sec. Judy M. Taguiwalo)



Upon Sec. Taguiwalo's arrival she and her team met with the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, local DSWD officials, local officials including the Boac Mayor, civil society representatives and volunteer groups involved in relief operations. She later visited a barangay in typhoon-hit Gasan to meet with some typhoon victims.

Lack of organization and structure, Data gathering & Reporting and the PDRRMC

The following self-explanatory post from a certain volunteer, Blair Dimaano who was in the meeting gives us a glimpse of what transpired:

Excerpts:

Dec 30, 2016 Office of the Governor
Update re. Relief operations in the whole province of Marinduque with Sec Judy Taguiwalo (DSWD) and other DSWD officials, local leaders, representatives from NGOs, other civic organizations and volunteer groups.
I took advantage of the opportunity to share key observations about how LGUs and other government agencies are handling/managing relief operations in the entire province of Marinduque. This is based from my own experience and feedback of other private individuals who are silently tapping and mobilizing their resources to facilitate speedy help for affected Marinduqueños.
Some points that I raised:
LACK OF ORGANIZATION AND STRUCTURE - who does what (lahat minions) Malabo ngayon kasi halos lahat ng top officials ay wala sa Marinduque when the disaster happened. 
Hinimok ko sila na balikan at ilatag muli ang structure, programs at process na may kaugnayan sa kalamidad.
DATA GATHERING & REPORTING - it's already day 5 at wala pa ding accurate na report ang napapadala sa NDRRMC (kung Hindi pa dumating si Sec Judy hindi pa makakapagproduce ng maayos na report ang PDRRMC) sa panahon ng Krisis, napakakritikal ng data. Tapos magatanong kayo Kung nasaan ang tulong. Malamang wala o kulang kasi hindi alam Kung anong basehan. Hindi naman malagpak mula sa langit ang bigas at sardinas at bahala na Kung sino ang makakasalo.

One wonders what good it would do to deny these social media posts made by responsible people whose only goal was obviously to help and identify problems they encounter along the way to be able to help and deliver their needed services in such a trying time. 

Dismissing these Facebook posts as "all part of dirty politics" is probably the height of deceit.


More relief goods (15,000 food packs, in 9 trucks) arrive today following DSWD Sec. Taguiwalo's visit, for delivery to the six municipalities.

The Inquirer's curious story published today, Jan. 5, 2017:
Subheadline on 'squabble on local execs' untrue, as well as headline untrue.



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