‘Do not take it as an attack’: Sara tells Mati officials over recommendation to probe food poisoning incident

Feb. 24, 2018

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte clarified that her recommendation to ​investigate the teachers and persons​ ​in-charge ​of the preparation and food service of the delegates from Mati City is “not to attack them.”

“I recommended ​to ​the Department of Education and the local government unit of Mati to dig deeper and conduct an investigation not really to attack the people in charge and the teachers of Mati but so that it would not happen again,” Duterte said during closing ceremony of the Davao Region Athletic Association meet 2018 at the University of Mindanao track oval here, Friday, February 23.

The Mayor note​d​ the report of the City Health Office (CHO) which revealed that “the leftover food” served to the delegates caused the hospitalization of three coaches, one kitchen crew and 34 student athletes after suffering abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting, on the night of February 17. The delegates were in Davao City to compete in the week-long Davao Region Athletic Association (DAVRAA) meet.

“The leftovers for breakfast were served for lunch and then the same happened for dinner,” the CHO report reads.

In her statement last February 18, Duterte said the move to serve leftover food ​is ​an “obvious cost cutting tantamount to corruption.”

READ: Mayor Sara wants probe after ‘food poisoning’ downs Mati students

She maintained that the incident could have been avoided if proper estimation of budget and handling of food was done.

As the host city, Duterte said the incident was “a pain in her chest” because parents entrusted their children to authorities and that kind of incident happens.

“If I was the parent and you will tell me that my kid will be served with leftover food, I won’t complain but I will do my best to give enough and proper food for my child everyday,” she said.

Duterte emphasized that she hopes that the incident won’t happen again and that people should learn from that experience.

She also urged student athletes to report immediately if such cases happen.

“Next time around let us know, as the host, let us know immediately. If you lack the budget or there’s a need to fix the system, because as host it is our job to make all of you enjoy your stay and to make your participation in the DAVRAA a very good memory to everyone,” Duterte said. (davaotoday.com)

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