By LITO RULONA,
City Hall has started distributing five kilos of rice and a can of sardines to affected by the El-Niño phenomenon to at least 21 barangays despite no declaration of calamity from the city council.
In a press statement, City Social Welfare and Development Officer Teddy Sabuga-a said they are now pressured by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD 10) regional office to asked declaration from the city council for state of calamity.
Sabuga-a said the drought stricken barangays can only avail augmentation relief from the DSWD 10 regional office if the city council will officially declare under the state of calamity of the 21 barangays.
However, Mayor Oscar Moreno and the City Council are still arguing about what barangay should be declared under the state of calamity.
Last Monday, Sabuga-a said instead of giving immediate solution to the plead of people in the hinterland barangays the City Council has adopted Resolution No. 12333-2016 requesting the different barangays in the city affected by the long dry spell to immediately submit reports on the extent of crop damages and the total amount needed in their respective areas to the City Agricultural and Productivity Office (APO).
The City Council claimed it cannot declare those barangays affected by the El Niño because the City Hall failed to submit a complete document.
City Councilor Leon Gan, vice -chairman of the committee on agriculture and a member of the committee on social services said no need to declare for a state of calamity because the city government can utilized funds from the budget under the Program for Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Response such as the P2 million allotted for Assistance in Crisis Situation, another P2 million from the Emergency Relief Assistance, and P500,000 from Shelter Assistance funds.
On Tuesday, the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) of Cagayan de Oro has started repacking food packs for distribution to the city’s drought-affected upland villages.
Not less than 300 sacks of rice, canned goods, and noodles arrived at the City Hall on Monday and were immediately packed by beneficiaries of the Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES).