Front-page photo ‘unfair’ | Inquirer Opinion
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Front-page photo ‘unfair’

/ 08:56 PM February 13, 2012

This has reference to a front-page photo captioned “Cry for help,” posted on Feb. 13, 2012 to illustrate an article published on Page A18. The picture depicted an old man crying for help as if he had not been reached by any assistance.

In Barangay Basak, where the man is supposed to have come from, assistance has been given by the LGU with a total of 10 sacks of rice, two boxes of sardines, two boxes of noodles, 48 boxes of water, between Feb. 9 and 11, which served the 800 families.

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Today, 900 food packs from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, good for three days, is being distributed. The number of families in this barangay is 800 families. With the collective operations since the Feb. 6 earthquake, the Philippine government, through the DSWD fund, provided the amount of P5.7 million to the provincial government of Negros Oriental for the cash for work. The two municipalities, Guihulngan and La Libertad, received cash for work from the DSWD fund the amount of P3,300,862.50 and P1,001,925, respectively. On Feb. 11, 2012 water and electricity have been restored to Guihulngan.

The DSWD coordinated with the provincial government of Negros in the establishment of the DSWD-managed Operation Center in Dumaguete City. The Operation Center in Dumaguete received the goods from the National Resource Operation Center (NROC) transported through the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). The provincial government dispatched provincial vehicles to bring goods of the provincial government as well as donations from other provinces/NGOs to the areas. There were 279 volunteers mobilized to do the repacking and hauling of goods.

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The picture on the front-page communicates despair and implies that Barangay Basak has not been reached as of publication. This is not fair to the soldiers, police, social workers and health workers from the local and national government agencies who have been working in the mud, in the water and on the slopes bringing relief goods and connecting foot bridges since Feb. 7. It is not fair to the many volunteers who traveled from many provinces to bring their support in kind and in deed.

Yes, there is still much to be done. Yes, we may not have reached everyone, nor have we satisfied all their needs, but I request that we be fair in depicting the efforts of the local and national government as well as the many volunteers whom the Inquirer recently honored.

I have always thought of the Inquirer as giving balanced news, but I give my fearless view, in fairness, please publish this clarification in your newspaper for the many government workers and volunteers who are still there continuing their service to the people.

—CORAZON JULIANO SOLIMAN,

secretary

Department of Social Welfare

and Development, IBP Road,

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Batasang Pambansa Complex,

Constitution Hills, Quezon City

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