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DSWD blows a billion pesos on food packs, various kits for Marawi

NEARLY EVERY month in the last half of 2017, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office in Region XII (Central Mindanao) went on a shopping binge and ended up splurging over a billion pesos.  It spent the sum — courtesy of taxpayers — on mongo beans, dried fish, canned fruits, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, sanitary napkins, slippers, blankets, malong, mats, mosquito nets, frying pans, and kettles, all via negotiated “emergency cases” and “small value” contracts for supplies, in the name of the families displaced by the siege of the Islamic City of Marawi last year. But 13 of the 14 supply contracts that DSWD-FO XII awarded from June 5 to Nov. 21, 2017 went to only three contractors. The three, malls with grocery stores, are Tacurong Fitmart, Ororama Supercenter, and Ace Centerpoint.  Altogether, the three malls collected P1.09 billion from DSWD-FO XII alone in government supply contracts variably for delivery of hygiene kits, “family kits,” kitchen kits, food packs, and groceries.  Marawi City is a part of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), and not of Region XII, or SOCCSKSARGEN, the central Mindanao regi...