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    Posted November 23, 2013 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Typhoon Haiyan: Your stories

    hcsl and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Typhoon Haiyan's impact

    Philippine government, selling goods to the victims of super typhoon.


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Described as one of the worst storms ever to make landfall, Super Typhoon Haiyan has caused catastrophic damage to many parts of the Philippines. Rescue and relief operations have proved daunting, and some people have taken exception with the Philippine government's efforts.

    This iReport appears to reference a story by the country's GMA network, written in Tagalog, which claims that the Philippines Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) of the Philippines is using "Diskwento Caravans", or discount caravans, to sell essential foodstuffs such as bread, coffee and milk to typhoon victims in affected areas at discounted prices. The iReport says this is "very disappointing and very frustrating" because of the amount of donations the Philippines government has received to assist those affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

    However, in a statement posted Tuesday on a Philippines government website and attributed to Secretary of Trade and Industry Gregory L. Domingo, Domingo said the caravans were a "public service" and a practice the department has used for "many years to sell goods to consumers at discounted prices."

    "In calamity areas, the value of Diskwento Caravans is in providing the availability of non-relief items at a discounted price."

    "DTI has a very meager budget and gets zero donations. The Diskwento Caravans, especially in areas in Leyte/Samar, [areas badly affected by the typhoon] have been conducted at great sacrifice by our employees around the region and by the employees of our partner companies, as they effectively take 30 hour shifts…"

    Domingo also directly addressed this iReport, saying he hopes DTI employees "don’t read the negative comments regarding the Diskwento Caravan on iReport as it will certainly break their hearts."

    Although several nations and organizations have pledged $360 million dollars to the Philippines, Domingo said a major part of the money is given "directly to foreign and local aid agencies, contrary to the impression that government is given all of that aid money." He asked people look at the government's Foreign Aid Transparency Hub to see the respective pledges of assistance of nations and organizations, and where the pledge is addressed to, either to the Philippine government or private organizations.
    sarahbrowngb, CNN iReport producer

    While the whole world has already given more than 200 million US dollars to help the victims of the super typhoon Haiyan(Yolanda), the Department of Trade and Industry(DTI) of the Philippines is doing a 'Diskwento Caravan' - selling goods to the typhoon victims in low prices.

    According to the news reported by the GMA network, the DTI has been selling some basic goods like bread, coffee, milk, and processed meat to the people of Tacloban City who was recently devastated by the super typhoon Haiyan. It was mentioned that the DTI is selling these goods in 10% to 30% less than the original price in the market. The people of Tacloban City were left no choice but to grab this little opportunity because, as they stated, they might die in hunger if they will just depend on the 'little' amount of food donations being distributed by the Philippine government.

    This fact is VERY DISAPPOINTING and VERY FRUSTRATING since the whole world knew that the donations for the Filipino people were overflowing since day one after the typhoon. While the government of other countries have been thoughtfully giving great amount of help to the Filipino people affected by the typhoon, the government of the Philippines seems to be unwilling to help its own people.

    Link of the news: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/video/184631/24oras/murang-bilihin-sa-diskwento-caravan-ng-dti-dinumog-ng-mga-taga-tacloban
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