DAR To Continue Aid For Employees, Will Account For Every Centavo

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dar web news pix 1 nov. 20 2013 400DAR Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes yesterday expressed his gratitude to the many DAR employees who voluntarily made personal cash contributions to support fellow employees affected by super typhoon Yolanda.

“The response of our employees has been overwhelmingly positive,” said de los Reyes, as he acknowledged the substantial amount of the funds raised so far (in the amount of P2.7 Million, more or less, as of 19 November 2013), after a solicitation campaign was initiated last week among DAR employees in order for them to extend a helping hand to their less fortunate colleagues.

De los Reyes, who was in Tacloban, Leyte and other affected areas over the weekend to set up the initial relief system for DAR employees, said that the magnitude of the work needed to help the affected employees in the Visayas from the recent calamity is staggering. He appealed to everyone, rank and file and management alike, to work together so that efforts to provide immediate relief assistance and rehabilitation more efficient and effective.

To this end, considering that time was of the essence, and pending the issuance of the clearance from the Commission on Audit (COA) to open a trust account, de los Reyes explained that the DAR Central Office opened a new account with the Land Bank of the Philippines last week solely for this purpose so that the campaign can be started immediately.

In addition, he said official DAR bank accounts could not be used for such an activity. Subsequently, new signatories were added for the said account to make it more secure.

As the COA clearance had just been obtained last Monday, 18 November 2013, a trust account also for this specific purpose was immediately opened on November 19, 2013, where all the deposits made will be transferred immediately.

De los Reyes further explained that no withdrawals to date have been made, pending the report of a disaster assessment team sent to the area and the formulation of the standards for allocation in consultation with DAR officials and employees in the Visayas.

Moreover, a detailed report on this matter was also released, cascaded, and posted for everyone’s information last Tuesday, 19 November 2013, in the interest of transparency and accountability. “Rest assured that we will account for every single centavo,” he added.

De los Reyes emphasized that the campaign for solicitation of donations was limited to DAR employees only, and beneficiaries of those donated will be limited only to DAR employees hit by the recent calamities. dar web news pix 2 nov. 20 2013 400

De los Reyes further said that: “We have been busy doing assessment work of all our offices in the disaster area so that we locate and help our co-employees and their families rebuild their lives, as well as prepare the Department for reinforcing our staff there so that we are able to reach out and assist the many agrarian reform beneficiaries who have also become victims of the calamity.”

He lamented that the DAR had suffered three confirmed (3) casualties to date in the persons of Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator Edith Casillar, DAR Leyte Provincial Legal Chief Atty. Segundino Bantiles, Jr., and Provincial Personnel Officer Elvie Delgado. Damage to the DAR regional and provincial offices has likewise been extensive.

The staff of the DAR in the area has been reinforced by a team from the Bicol Region and Northern Samar. They will assist in the assessment of the damage and help account for all DAR personnel. Meanwhile, the DAR’s Administrative Service has been instructed by Secretary de los Reyes to manually reconstitute the payroll and prepare the release of salaries.