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Catanduanes gov to probe rotten rice in relief goods

Catanduanes Gov. Joseph Cua on Sunday, Nov. 15, said he would conduct an investigation on the distribution of relief goods containing alleged rotten rice.

Cua, in an interview, expressed dismay over the distribution of relief goods with spoiled rice, pictures of which were posted on Facebook by netizens.

A picture posted in his Facebook by one Hilario Andes showed alleged relief packaged containing grocery items including the rotten rice with a remarked saying “I was informed that thousands of these kinds, rotten rice, are being distributed at Catanduanes, One Catandunganon said, “Even Pigs will not eat this rotten rice.” The comment said “Ano ba kayo dyan? KAYO ba nangloloko ng tao? Or sadyang mga hayop na rin ang tingin nyo sa mga tao? Ninakaw nyo ang mga relief goods tapos ganyan.”

These remarks according to Cua are tainted with politics, “My critics are creating a political scenario to discredit and besmirched my administration.”

Cua said the initial investigation revealed that the relief packages containing spoiled rice that were distributed to typhoon-affected residents did not come from the Provincial Social Welfare Development Office (PSWDO).

He said the PSWDO has employed workers task to repacked the thousands of relief goods, and sacks of rice at the repacking center, “so we make sure that the relief goods are fit for human consumption,” he said.

Cua however said there was a case where a sack containing 15 relief packages distributed to residents of Barangay Igang in Virac contained wet rice. According to him the wet rice were immediately replaced.

Cua said he has to check with the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and ask for their explanation after result of an investigation showed that the relief packages with spoiled rice were those that were distributed by the PCG during their relief operations.

Meanwhile, Arnel Garcia regional director of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Bicol in an interview said he will also conduct a separate investigation.

He assured recipients of these relief packages that the goods from DSWD have markings and the food packs are safe to eat.

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