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Iloilo running out of canned sardines

MANILA, Philippines - The supply of canned sardines in Iloilo province is already running out due to the massive need for relief goods for millions of people affected by super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Regional Office 6 director Ma. Evelyn B. Macapobre reported to Senate President Franklin Drilon in a briefing that producers of canned sardines in the province only have a total of 750 boxes in their warehouses.

Macapobre said she was informed of the number during a meeting with the retailers on Friday.

She said that she does not know when she will be able to get more canned goods that can be sent to the areas reeling from the devastating effect of the super typhoon.

“I need 17,500 boxes of sardines today and tomorrow to distribute to the remaining families that have not been served,” Macapobre said.

She said that she agreed upon requests of the affected local government units to provide three repacking stations in Capiz, Aklan and Antique for fast delivery of the goods but the problem is there is no more stocks of canned sardines.

Iloilo fifth district congressman Niel Tupas, Jr., who was also present at the briefing, asked for another repacking station to be set up in Barotac Viejo for the northern towns.

Macapobre said that she is requesting for a naval boat to be sent to Zamboanga City, where they can buy more stockes of canned sardines that could be supplied to Western Visayas.

She, however, said that it would take nine days for the stocks from Zamboanga City to arrive in Iloilo.

Macapobre said that in Western Visayas alone, they would need 2,043 tons of canned sardines to feed the affected victims.

She sad that as of Friday, the DSWD has released a total of 78,080 family packs valued at P20.4 million. The total number of families affected in the region reached 521,347 with 2,503,252 individuals. There are still 1,952 evacuation centers with 78,909 families inside the centers.