Malacañang vows transparency in accounting of foreign aid
MANILA, Philippines – As foreign aid pours into the country in bulk, the national government vowed transparency and promised to account for all the donations.
On Tuesday, November 12, Malacañang gave assurances it will monitor where the funds will be directed and that they will be used properly.
This, after growing concerns from the public and netizens, who are bothered by complaints of typhoon victims that aid was not reaching them quick enough.
As of 4:30pm on Tuesday, a tabulation of international assistance provided by the Palace said the aid provided by 28 countries and the European Union has reached P2,344,402,500.
"DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) will be giving us a list of all the donor countries, their forms of assistance. We will also tabulate where the assistance went to so at least its clear to our people that this type of help extended to us by our neighbors will truly be used for what they're intended for," said Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.
The DFA is the main agency coordinating foreign aid.
Lacierda said the DFA "will collate and coordinate" the relief received by the Philippines in both cash and other forms of assistance, and that the DFA will provide "a list of the assistance, pledges of assistance, and whether or not the pledges have been given."
While the Palace expressed gratitude for the continuous assistance provided by the international community, Lacierda also encouraged donors, specifically Filipinos overseas, to look ahead and plan to provide more help in the future.
"We would also like to appeal to our international Filipino communities. Right now, the emphasis is on relief goods assistance, medical, search and rescue. But, down the road, you would recognize we realized that we have a lot of rehabilitation that’s going to happen. Reconstruction is going to happen," he said.
"We are receiving cash now but, at the same time, we should look forward. Down the road, what can we do to help reconstruction and rehabilitation? These are the things that maybe the Filipino communities, Filipino organizations abroad may think about."
On Friday, November 8, one of the world's strongest ever-recorded typhoons made landfall in the Philippines. Packing maximum sustained winds of 315 km (195 miles) an hour, it broke down houses and took thousands of lives.
Dead bodies lined the streets made impassable by fallen trees and rubble, as the national government scrambled to provide aid to desperate survivors and local governments rendered helpless by the massive damage brought by the storm.
Officials continue to count the number of deaths, but the lack of communications and blocked roads have made the surveying difficult. The national disaster coordinating council listed only 1,774 confirmed dead as of Monday afternoon, while local authorities estimated more than '10,000' feared dead in Leyte alone.
President Benigno Aquino III on Monday declared a state of national calamity and vowed the provision of aid would be hastened. – Rappler.com
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