#OmpongPH | DSWD on red alert status; DOF orders BOC to release seized rice

5 months ago

SEPTEMBER 14, 2018 – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has already placed itself on red alert to beef up its disaster response on areas along the track of Typhoon Ompong.

The typhoon, which is feared to develop into a super typhoon, is expected to make a landfall in the Cagayan-Isabela area on Saturday morning.

The department placed an emergency telecommunications system in Batanes and Baguio City for a reliable communication line during the onslaught of Ompong.

A total of 1,000 family food packs were also prepositioned in Concepcion, Tarlac and in Mountain Province for faster distribution. Thousands of hygiene and family kits were likewise delivered in Ilocos Region.

On top of these, the DSWD said it has 356,349 food packs, food and non-food items amounting to P710.82 million, and standby funds totalling to P872 million.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, meanwhile, ordered the Bureau of Customs to immediately release smuggled rice and other food items it seized to the DSWD. This is to augment the ongoing government preparations for the typhoon.

“Please release all seized rice and foodstuff in your possession to the DSWD for possible disaster relief,” Dominguez said.

Citing Section 1141 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, Dominguez said the goods up for disposal under BOC custody “may be donated to another government agency or declared for official use by the Bureau, after approval of the Secretary of Finance, or sold at a public auction within 30 days after a 10-day notice.”