- Published on Tuesday, 26 February 2013 23:00
- Written by RAYMOND AFRICA
By A Web design Company
SOME 2,000 protesters led by militant groups yesterday looted the office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Davao City during a protest rally that turned unruly.
The protesters, who included victims of typhoon “Pablo,” were protesting what they alleged to be unfair distribution of relief goods.
Pablo hit mainly Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental last December.
Senior Supt. Ronald dela Rosa, Davao City chief of police, said the protesters from the two provinces held a protest rally in front of the DSWD office on Suazo street and started to become unruly. They then barged into the main gates of the DSWD office and started looting spree, taking away 600 boxes of noodles, 150 boxes of coffee and 3,000 food packs.
Responding policemen engaged the unruly protesters, forcing them to leave the loot, he said.
Dela Rosa also said members of the city police force established a temporary police outpost inside the DSWD compound to secure the government office.
Reports said typhoon victims and militants started camping out along Suazo street Monday afternoon.
The Kabataan party-list group said some 5,000 typhoon victims gathered at the DSWD office in Davao and staged another barricade to demand “genuine relief and rehabilitation.”
“The 6.2 million victims have been receiving little or nothing from the government ever since the massive typhoon hit last December shattering their homes and livelihood. The protest asserted the culpability of the DSWD and its secretary Dinky Soliman in both the ineffectiveness and corruption at the cost of the continued plight of typhoon victims,” it said in a statement.
Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said the department would hire 4,206 typhoon victims in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental for the rehabilitation of upland areas in the two provinces under the National Greening Program (NGP).
He said his office has allotted P132 million for Compostella Valley and P97.8 million for Davao Oriental for the “cash-for-work scheme.”
Those to be hired will work for a continuous period of 90 days for site preparation, hauling of seedlings, and actual tree planting, he said.
Each worker will be paid P226 a day using the social mobilization fund of the NGP.
Some 7,500 hectares of tree plantations established from 2009 to 2012 under the Upland Development Program and NGP were damaged by Pablo.
The DENR also lost P28 million worth of seedlings planted under the NGP in 2011 and 2012 due to Pablo, consisting of indigenous and fruit trees, including high-value agro- industrial crops like coffee, cacao and rubber trees.
This year, Paje said that around 15,300 hectares of denuded and open forestlands in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental will be rehabilitated with some 7.6 million seedlings.
The NGP is one of the priority programs of the government aimed at reducing poverty, ensuring food security, conserving biodiversity, and mitigating the effects climate change. – With Angela Lopez de Leon