DSWD sets up one-stop shop for foreign donations

MANILA  - The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Central Visayas office in Cebu has set up a one-stop processing station for all foreign donations for Typhoon Yolanda victims at the Mactan Airbase.

The move came as  humanitarian aid from the international community continued to flow in and the government wants to make the process of accepting and documenting donations more efficient.

The one-stop processing station in the Mactan Airbase is open 24/7.

Earlier, Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon called for the designation of a venue to centralize the processing and documentation of donated relief supplies and to facilitate their release within 24 hours from filing of import entry.

The DSWD, however, clarified that not all donations are in its custody.

“It really depends on the donor and to whom they would like to give their donations. Based on protocol, all documents will pass through the one-stop processing center but it does not mean that DSWD will receive all donations,” DSWD-Field Office VII regional director Mercedita Jabagat said.

“There are international organizations that choose to give their donations to their local counterparts,” she added.

This should come with a certificate of the fitness of food and medicine for consumption and of compliance with the country of origin’s sanitary and phytosanitary standards.

They also need to submit shipping documents such as original and/or duly certified true copy of bill of lading or airway bill and packing list.

The receiving consignee will sign a waiver and submit a status report of the distribution or utilization of the donation.

The DSWD also said that the supply of relief packs to more than 273,000 affected families in Region 8 would continue for the rest of the year, but it would be downscaled to cover only “vulnerable” families by January 2014.

The Philippine National Police (PNP), for its part, raised P3.7 million in donations to be distributed to over 3,000 affected policemen in Eastern Visayas.

Yesterday, PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima led the turnover of the cash donation to Police Regional Office 8 in Camp Kangleon, Palo, Leyte.

Affected policemen also received relief packs and new sets of uniforms from the PNP leadership.

Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, meanwhile, is readying P1-million cash assistance for typhoon victims in Leyte, the home province of her mother, former first lady Imelda.

Marcos said the cash donation comes from the provincial government and contributions from local government units and non-government organizations in Ilocos Norte.

The youth have also joined the cooperative endeavor of rebuilding affected communities.

The Habitat Youth Council (HYC) has partnered with world-renowned Filipino furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue to create limited edition centerpiece lamps to help raise funds for homeless communities.

The uniquely designed “First Light” lamps were unveiled last night at the KENNETHCOBONPUE showroom in Greenbelt Residences in Makati.

All proceeds from the sale of these lamps priced at P3,500 each will be used in rebuilding houses.

The lamps will only be available for the holiday season at Swatch shops in Metro Manila and at the KENNETHCOBONPUE showroom. Orders may also be placed by contacting the non-profit organization Habitat for Humanity Philippines (HFHP), to which HYC belongs, at tel 846-2177.

As more donations and support from the public and private sectors pour in, the Airbus Corporate Foundation continues to coordinate humanitarian flights to help transport relief goods and other aid to typhoon victims in the Visayas.

The foundation has organized its third humanitarian flight in collaboration with Philippine Airlines, with supplies being flown from France aboard the carrier’s latest new A330 wide-body aircraft.

The latest flight arrived in Cebu Thursday evening direct from the Airbus delivery center in Toulouse, France.