Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo remains unfazed by all the flack and negative publicity for placing his name on the packs of relief goods distributed in earthquake hit areas in northern Negros Oriental.
In a recent interview, Degamo appealed for unity in order to attend to the welfare of the earthquake victims. “So many of our brothers and sisters are hungry and they need our attention,” he said.
Regardless of the bad press that he got, both on Facebook and on national media, the Governor said he will continue to work because this is the work given to him by God. “My job was given to me by God. It was beyond my wildest dreams [to be governor].”
Degamo, who was elected as the number one member of the Provincial Board, ascended to the governorship following the deaths of Gov. Emilio Macias II and Gov. Agustin Perdices within months of each other.
He earlier told the Dumaguete MetroPost that he had his name placed on the packs of relief goods to show the people that the government was not sleeping on the job.
Provincial Administrator Arnel Francisco, on the other hand, said they placed the Governor’s name on the packs of relief goods to inform the people of the name of the Provincial Governor.
“We still get letters addressed to Gov. Macias and Gov. Perdices,” he said.
Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman of the Department of Social Welfare & Development, meanwhile, asked Degamo to remove labels, markings or stickers bearing the agency’s name and logo on the plastic bags containing relief goods.
Aileen Lariba, spokesperson and information officer of the DSWD Region 7 office, disclosed that Sec. Soliman had called Gov. Degamo to have the labels taken down “to avoid confusion”.
Lariba said that an inquiry on the incident showed that the relief goods that bore the stickers were actually funded by the provincial government. DSWD relief aid from the agency’s national and regional headquarters, she said, was not coursed through the Province but was being distributed directly to intended beneficiaries.
According to Lariba, the provincial government, through Gov. Degamo, can place its stickers on relief goods for earthquake victims acquired from Provincial funds, but without the logo and name of the DSWD. (with a report from Judy F. Partlow/PNA)