- Posted February 12, 2013 by
Philippines’ welfare agency suspected of corruption
By Ben O. Tesiorna
The Philippine Government’s Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) tasked to distribute the national and international aid given to the victims of Typhoon Pablo in Southern Mindanao is suspected of corruption.
This after two Pablo victims who were tapped to build bunkhouse in Compostela Valley denied receiving the amount stated in the agency’s liquidation of funds for bunkhouse workers in the said area.
Romulo Serot, 50 years old, and his son Remly, 21, worked in the construction of DSWD bunkhouse in the University of Southeastern Philippines campus in Compostela town.
Romulo said he worked for only one day as the carpentry tools he used were just borrowed by him from a friend. His stipend was P300 per day as a carpenter.
The next day, Romulo said he instead recommended his son, Remly, to replace him. It was learned that Remly was hired as a labourer with a stipend of P200 per day. The son only worked for three days afterwhich he resigned and looked for a more high-paying job.
The father and son said that they collected from the DSWD P300 for Romulo’s one day work, and P600 for Remly’s three-day stint. Remly said he was the one who collected the total amount of P900 from the local DSWD and affixed his signature in the document he was asked sign.
But documents obtained from the regional office of the DSWD however showed that Romulo and Remly each received P350/day and that they both worked from December 10-22, 2012. Meaning, each were paid P4,200 for their 12-day work for a total of P8,400 considering that the money they actually received was merely P900 or a discrepancy of P7,500.
When presented with a picture of the DSWD document showing their signatures in the said document, Remly said it was not the same paper that he signed when he collected their P900. Romulo said it was impossible for him to be signing the DSWD document considering that he just requested his son Remly to collect the payment for him.
Romulo said the signature affixed in the DSWD document is also not his. Remly meanwhile said that his signature was forged in the DSWD document.
Some Davao-based journalists personally visited the Serots in their hometown to verify the anomaly which the two also confirmed.
It was learned that the DSWD have so far constructed 23 bunkhouses in the Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley provinces for the Pablo victims – two in Compostela, five in Boston, Davao Oriental and eight each in Cateel and Baganga towns also in Davao Oriental.
Efforts to get the reaction of the regional DSWD office proved futile as of this writing. Nico Alconaba, Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Mindanao New Bureau chief, said he also had been given the runaround by the DSWD regarding to the anomaly issue.
Alconaba earlier wrote about the supposed overpriced bunkhouses in Davao Oriental which was denied by no less than DSWD Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman. Soliman said the documents of their office are also open for scrutiny by any well-meaning individual as their agency has no anomaly to hide.
Last week though, Alconaba’s request to view some DSWD documents was denied by the regional DSWD.
The international aid pouring for the Pablo victims could reach to billions of pesos. BOT