CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/16 November)-At the relief center in Mt. Carmel Church in Barangay Carmen here, volunteers stopped working Friday night after supplies of rice, sardines and noodles have ran out.
At another relief center at the Church of the Latter Day Saints also in Barangay Carmen, the repacking of food packs for the victims of super typhoon Yolanda was also suspended when supplies also stopped arriving.
Less than a week of frenzied repacking of food supplies by volunteers, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Northern Mindanao is finding it difficult to find suppliers of sardines, noodles and rice here.
“We are now buying directly from the source, the sardine factories in Zamboanga, but they are finding it difficult to supply us,” DSWD-10 director Araceli Solamillo said.
She noted that demands from other areas like Manila, which are also resorting to buying canned sardines directly from Zamboanga, have created supply problems.
This is the reason why some of the relief centers have to stop because there are no more canned sardines deliveries, Solamillo said.
“We are also finding it difficult to find suppliers of rice and noodles, which is aggravating the problem,“ Solamillo said.
Hundreds of volunteers have flocked to the relief packing centers following the call from the DSWD-10 for help last Tuesday.
Solamillo said the DSWD regional office, with a budget of P12.5 million for the purchase of sardines, noodles, rice and coffee, was tasked to produce 50,000 food bags a day for victims of typhoon Yolanda.
But so far, she said the volunteers were only able to pack 30,000 food bags since Tuesday and that they are hoping to increase their output to ease the hunger in Leyte.
Solamillo said they have already sent 20,000 bags to Leyte—10,000 to Ormoc and 10,000 to Tacloban—by trucks.
She said a Philippine Air Force C130 should have airlifted the remaining 10,000 bags but the plane, which was expected last Friday, did not arrive at the Lumbia airport.
“We are considering to load them on trucks and ship them via Lipata port [in Surigao City] but we are concerned about safety on the road,” she said. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)