Spoiled relief goods worth P170, 981.20 were reported to be disposed of by Department of Social Welfare and Development Negros Island Region (DSWD – NIR) and buried it in an open dumpsite in Bgy. Candauay in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental.
The goods had expired in June 2016, a month before President Rodrigo Duterte took office.
In reports of PIA and other media, DSWD – NIR Regional Director Shalaine Marie Lucero confirmed that the Field Office (FO) managed the disposal. It was disposed on September 2 in coordination with Department of Health (DOH), Commission on Audit (COA) and Environment and Natural Resources Office (ENRO) of Dumaguete.
However, it was only a month after the disposal when DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo learned the incident. She then expressed her utmost apologies to the public,
“I apologize to the public that this has happened. We have been trying the last three months under the new administration to assure people that what happened in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda -- when rice meant for the typhoon survivors were allowed to spoil and then had to be buried secretly – would never happen again,” she said. “So it is very disappointing that this happened."
“The goods should have been disposed before they expired because we have a policy on the same. All food items about to expire in three-month’s time should be used immediately for Food for Work (FFW) activities, supplemental feeding programs, and food assistance to clients of Crisis Intervention Units (CIU), and for our centers and institutions,” she said.