Provincial Administrator Kathyrin Pioquinto on Thursday said the Office of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development (OPSWD) has its own budget to purchase fuel for the distribution of relief goods to victims of Typhoon “Odette.”
Pioquinto issued the statement after OPSWD chief Mita Tecson said resumption of relief operations was delayed due to lack of fuel allocation by the Office of the Governor.
“Why would she blame the governor’s office for something that she should have taken responsibility for,” said Pioquinto.
According to Pioquinto, the Governor’s Office is not responsible for releasing funds for the OPSWD’s relief operations.
She saida Tecson, as department head, could have filed a purchase request before the Provincial Budget Office.
“GO [Governor’s Office] is not responsible for relief distribution. We should just dissolve OPSWD if she’s like that,” said Pioquinto.
The purchase request would still need Pioquinto’s approval.
However, Pioquinto claimed that she had not received any written request from Tecson for fuel allocation.
“Where is the request. From what I recall, wala gyud ko nakadawat og written request niya,” she added.
It was Pioquinto who issued the order for the Capitol to suspend relief operations in March during the start of the campaign period in which local government units (LGU) are barred from extending aid.
The Capitol could have immediately resumed the distribution of goods a day after the elections on May 9 but Tecson noted that it took almost two weeks for them to restart the operations due to the lack of fuel allocation.
Tecson said she instead requested recipient municipal LGUs to get the goods themselves in Tagbilaran City.
The provincial government has drawn flak from the public after it was found out that piles of relief goods still remained in storage at the Bohol Cultural Center on June 7, 2022, almost six months after the storm battered the province.
Since then however, the food packs which contained rice, canned goods, noodles, milk and coffee, among others have been quickly turned over to the LGUs of Ubay, Buenavista, Getafe, Danao, Batuan and Valencia, said Tecson.
A few relief goods still remained at Camp Bernido in Tagbilaran City as of Wednesday but these were already allocated for the Talibon LGU. (R. Tutas)