[flexiblemap address=”Barangay Villahermosa, Rapu-rapu, Albay, Bicol” region=”Bicol” directions=”true” width=”100%” height=”250px” zoom=”10″ ]
One version of the report says that the amount lost was P3.3 million. The second version says it was P4 million. Maybe it was rounded off to the highest amount, the thing is millions of pesos were lost!
What is disturbing here is that money intended for the beneficiaries of 4Ps in the town of Rapu-rapu was lost in the hands of people supposed to safeguard the money.
Early on Wednesday Allan Competente and Richielda Batang were in Barangay Villahermosa with huge sum of money in their possession. They are employees of Smart-NATCO (National Confederation Cooperative), the authorized disbursing entity of Land Bank of the Philippines in the town. The duo stopped by the residence of barangay kagawad Eddie Bibat to rest for while.
Unidentified suspected robbers barged into the house at about 4 AM armed with knives and tied the victims before carting away the money. (This detail is quite vague as robbers came in the morning. So the employees arrived very early in the morning or arrived the other day before the robbery? – ed.)
Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Bicol Regional Director Arnel Garcia said they are coordinating with police authorities and bank officials. He assured the beneficiaries the money lost will get a replacement from the LBP but will take some time.
There are about 4,000 family- beneficiaries enrolled in the 4Ps program in Rapu-rapu.
The town can be reached using a watercraft by crossing the Albay gulf. It has a population of 35,875 according to the 2010 official census. Residents of the municipality are settled within its two big islands plus smaller ones.
While it has already become regular for bank and DSWD personnel to distribute cash assistance every time the release is ready for the beneficiaries, they never learn to provide proper security for the purpose.