A number of civil society organizations (CSOs) based in Mindanao expressed their all-out support for the Department of Social Welfare and Development and for Secretary Dinky Soliman amid protests by Barug Katawhan.
Statements of support of the CSOs were read during the press conference held yesterday in Davao City attended by a number of local and national media groups.
The Mindanao Coalition of Development NGO Networks (MINCODE) said that, “We condemn the manner by which some groups express their sentiments against the government. As the largest coalition of Mindanao-based civil society organizations, we uphold the principle of constructive engagement with the government. We strongly call for respecting legal processes and non-disruption of public service. Just as we acknowledge the need for strengthening local governance to effectively and efficiently address the needs of the community, we recognize this administration’s call for transparent, accountable and people-centered governance. There is no need to go to the extent of blocking the Regional Office and hampering the delivery of public service.”
Likewise, the Philippine Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas (PHILDRRA-Mindanao’s), a national network of 62 non-government organizations expressed its support saying, “as an advocate of transparent and accountable governance, we strongly support DSWD’s position for systematic and orderly way of distributing the 10,000 sacks of rice which is planned to be distributed to typhoon “Pablo” internally displaced families.”
On the other hand, the Volunteers for Poor Community Worldwide, Philippines, condemns the actions made by Barug Katawhan. The volunteers said that ” attacking the DSWD Office in Davao City and getting relief goods intended for victims of other typhoon is unfair. Some employees of DSWD never celebrated Christmas and New Year just to repack and send the relief goods to the victims. We must all understand that DSWD is an agency monitored the COA, that is why we understand that proper list of victims must be submitted and should be validated for transparency and fair distribution of relief goods. We hope also that poor people specially victims should not be used in any propaganda because they are already victims. We pray that everyone must have fair public judgement. “
The Civil Society Organizations call on concerned parties to face the problem with an open mind and heart. They said that the only resolution is through dialogue so that the right actions are appropriate and will truly benefit those who are affected by typhoon Pablo. ###