The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Western Visayas is reminding the public that tampering with the agency’s relief goods is punishable by law.
DSWD-6 director Ma. Evelyn Macapobre said private individuals, groups, or even other government agencies are not allowed to deface, put labels or repack, either intentionally or unintentionally, the relief supplies from the DSWD.
Macapobre said tampering or misrepresenting the source of relief goods, equipment, or other commodities from the agency is a criminal act, pursuant to the Republic Act (RA) No. 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010.
Section 19 of the provision prohibits misrepresenting the source of relief goods, equipment, or other aid commodities by either covering, replacing, or defacing the labels of the containers to make it appear that the goods, equipment, or other aid commodities came from another agency or persons;
Repacking the goods, equipment, or other aid commodities into containers with different markings to make it appear that the goods came from another agency or persons or was released upon the instance of a particular agency or persons; and making a false verbal claim that the goods, equipment and/or other commodity and its untampered original containers actually came from another agency or persons or was released upon the instance of a particular agency or persons.
“The DSWD Region 6 does not tolerate and strongly condemns these acts. Any group or individual are reminded not to use the agency’s relief supplies as a platform to advance and display their personal interest,” Macapobre said.
Under the law, violators will be fined from P50,000-P500,000 or imprisonment of six years up to 12 years.
Macapobre also encouraged the public to report all cases involving the misrepresenting the relief goods of the DSWD.*