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DSWD hands over UAE goods to Mayon victims

By Rhaydz B. Barcia

LEGAZPI CITY --- The Department of Social Worker and Development in Bicol handed over to Albay governor Grecon Lagman the 50 tons of food relief donated by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and the Royal Family to Mayon evacuees on Tuesday.

Norman Laurio, DSWD Bicol regional director handed over the 50 tons of relief goods shortly after their arrival in Albay on Tuesday afternoon.

Each box contained cooking oil (1.5L UAE), -Rice Basmati (5kg India); Pasta Elbow (400gm UAE); Flour No. 1 (5kg India packed UAE); Sugar (2kg packed UAE); Tuna (170gm Thailand); Salt (1kg UAE); Tomato paste (800gm UAE); Milk powder (2.25kg packed UAE); Tea powder (450gm India); Dates Soudia (1kg KSA) and Dry Foul.

The relief goods from the UAE were sent through the office of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian. The goods were intended to affected families housed in different evacuation shelters in five municipalities and three cities.

Laurio said that the donations given by UAE will be distributed to 4,396 or 15,658 individuals.

Albay governor Grecon Lagman expressed gratitude to the president of UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and the Royal family for remarkable initiatives given to the people of Albay.

“This is an upshot of a good relationship in times of crisis. Our friends through DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos, has provided us with help which is intended to our fellowmen affected by abnormal condition of the Mt. Mayon,” Lagman said.

The UAE ambassador to the Philippines, Mohamed Obaid Salem Alqataam Alzaabi, had asked his government to send the relief goods to the people of Albay after thousands of Albayanos were displaced from their houses after Mayon Volcano’s restiveness has intensified.

The UAE’s interior minister, who is a personal friend of DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos helped out in the swift arrival of the humanitarian aid in Albay according to DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian.

As this developed, the Department of Trade in Industry (DTI) imposed a price freeze in Albay.

The DTI Bicol warned store owners to comply with the imposed price freeze in the province of Albay after the province was declared under the state of calamity following the Mayon Volcano’s unrest.

In a memorandum circular addressed to all wet markets, supermarkets, groceries, bakeries, and water refilling stations, prompting them to conform to the provision of Republic Act (RA) 7581 or the Price Act was released on Friday, June 9, 2023. Said circular shall serve as a warning that any violation of the Price Act shall be dealt with accordingly.

DTI officer-in-charge in Bicol Dindo Nabol appealed to store owners to follow the law and not to take advantage of the situation.

Penalties for violation against the price freeze include at least the imposition of fine of P5,000.00 up to P1 million and or imprisonment of one year up to ten years.

He urged the consumers to report any irregularity, particularly on the prices of basic necessities as DTI will not tolerate any wrongdoing and will file formal charges against erring stores.

Basic necessities under DTI’s jurisdiction are canned sardines, evaporated and condensed milk, coffee refill, laundry bar, detergent powder, candles, bread (Pinoy tasty and Pinoy pandesal), salt, bottled water (potable water in containers), and locally manufactured instant noodles.

The DTI Albay provincial office and its regional office deployed teams since Sunday, June 11, 2023 to closely monitor stores’ compliance to price freeze and ensure availability of supply of these basic necessities across the province.


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