Mention disaster preparedness and the province of Albay always comes to mind. But not all LGUs and government offices in the province “walk the walk” and “talk the talk” of the indefatigable governor Joey Sarte Salceda.
In Tabaco, at least 21 sacks of rice and cartons of relief goods (noodles) was left to rot in the stockroom of the social welfare office of the city. It failed to distribute the consumable items to Typhoon Glenda- devastated residents.
While the goods were destined for the barangays of San Miguel island, the lack or absence of transport facility was pointed as the culprit for the non-distribution.
Welfare officer Cristina Bonagua pointed out their readiness to respond to the needs of the constituency, except for the absence of transportation service at their disposal. In other words, they were not ready. No need to make an alibi here.
Instead, the goods were rationed to families in the mainland only to get a feedback later that recipients complained the consumables were not safe for human consumption already.
But wait, there is more in Albay.
Some 20,000 sacks of rice stored in the warehouse of the National Food Authority in Legazpi City was damaged by flood during the height of Typhoon Glenda as confirmed by provincial manager Yolly Navarro.
Residents and observers accused the local agency for wreckless waste of rice and people’s money.
As if to console and defend themselves, the NFA said that the cost of damaged rice will be recovered from their insurance agency. The kind of thinking and reasoning of government officials these days is asking for trouble. And it is not acceptable in any angle.
Most of all, it is a slap to farmers who are enticed of the “Panatang Makapalay” by the agency when it should be the NFA personnel who should believe and follow the pledge. Wow Albay!