Hold Soliman accountable for ‘Pablo’ mess, group urged Duterte

May. 21, 2016
(Photo from Manilatoday.net)

(Photo from Manilatoday.net)

TAGUM CITY — Party-list group Anakpawis urged the incoming President Rodrigo Duterte to hold Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman accountable for “negligence” when typhoon Pablo pounded the entire Davao region back in December 2012.

“Soliman who is banking on the dole-out program conditional cash transfer is notorious in hoarding relief goods, while the gravity of the typhoon’s impact was already reported, the people of Mindanao was again victimized by the delayed delivery of relief aid that it compelled them to barricade a national highway and take the aid by themselves,” Anakpawis Rep. Fernando Hicap said in a statement on Saturday, May 21.

DSWD failed to deliver the immediate relief aid to 4.8 million people in Davao region with casualties reached to 1,007, and damages to agriculture pegged at P24.3 billion, according to Hicap.

It can be recalled that on January 15, 2013, more than 5,000 typhoon Pablo survivors staged a protest rally by blocking the major highways in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental provinces to demand relief aid from the government. Similar protest held in Davao City but to no avail.

“The organized protest of typhoon Pablo victims concretely gained some of their demands, but what was more condemnable that Soliman, who has the ‘social welfare’ under her title had the gall to file charges against the victims,” Hicap said.

Anakpawis said that the DSWD’s abandonment of the victims of typhoon Pablo, Yolanda, El Niño and other calamities are “not isolated cases but symptomatic of an criminally negligent governance, alienated from the real state of the people.”

The group’s statement came after Soliman expressed disagreement to the plan of the Duterte administration that the DSWD cabinet post will be offered to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). Soliman claims that she was worried about the fate of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), a cash dole-out program by the Aquino administration.

Hicap said the group, since the inception of the program, has been critical of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program saying “it does not address the root causes of poverty.”

The group cited that the budget allocation for the 4Ps, from 2011 to 2014 has already totaled P216 billion,  it stressed, however, that it has no substantial effect to the plight of the poor.

“CCT claimed it would lead to more youth going to school, but at present with the impending implementation of the K-to-12 program, students from public schools are doomed to drop out as availability of a public senior high school is truly lacking while private schools who offer impose unaffordable tuition fees higher that the government-set subsidy voucher program,” Hicap said. (davaotoday.com)

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