DSWD ready to dialogue with leaders of People’s Surge in Tacloban

March 6, 2014 11:20 am 

MANILA, March 5 — Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman and leaders of People’s Surge and Alyansa han mga Biktima han Bagyo Yolanda in Tacloban (ABBAT), were set to hold a dialogue Wednesday, 3:00 pm at the DSWD-Field Office VIII in Tacloban City, Leyte.

However, based on latest information received by DSWD, the groups which have officially confirmed to attend the scheduled dialogue have backed out citing that they do not want to hold the dialogue there but in the Department’s Central Office instead.

The dialogue which is part of the Secretary’s itinerary for her two-day visit in the province seeks to resolve the issues being raised by the two people’s organizations.

Among the issues that they raised were on food distribution, use of the Disaster Assistance and Family Access Card (DAFAC), and the rehabilitation of affected areas.

DSWD-Field Office VIII Director Nestor Ramos met with the group last week to address the issues and arrived at some agreements.

Sec. Soliman nonetheless expressed her willingness to meet with the groups to further set directions and to demonstrate her openness to listen to grievances.

“DSWD is open for a dialogue or discussions to groups, for transparency purposes, on the relief efforts done in ‘Yolanda’- affected areas. We welcome feedback,” Sec. Soliman said.

Prior to this set-up dialogue, members of GABRIELA and People’s Surge held a demonstration at the DSWD’s office in Quezon City on March 3 causing damages there.

The Secretary pointed out that “[DSWD] officials were ready to talk to the protesters and present [the Department’s] accomplishments and plans” when they went there on Monday.

The demonstrators however started breaking some portion of the central office’s main lobby doors.

“We are not discounting them in our disaster response work. We need to listen to what they have to say because we are accountable to them,” Sec. Soliman added.(PNA)

FPV/LSJ

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