Financial aid for Yolanda victims now at P5.4 billion; Philippine government assures proper audit

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, monetary assistance for Yolanda victims from 43 countries has reached $126.8 million, as of 12 p.m. yesterday, November 15.


Umabot na sa P5.4 billion o $126.8 million ang monetary assistance para sa mga Pilipinong nabiktima ng bagyong Yolanda.

Ito ay ayon sa pinakahuling report ng Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) kahapon, November 15—eksaktong isang linggo pagkatapos manalasa ng itinuturing na pinamakamalakas na bagyo na nag-landfall sa kasaysayan ng buong mundo.

Ayon kay DFA Spokesperson Raul Hernandez, “As of 12 p.m. today, we have monitored forty-three international donors that have pledged or have already sent assistance to support the ongoing relief and recovery operations in the areas affected by typhoon Yolanda.

“This brings the current estimated value of international assistance to P5.4 billion or USD126.8 million.

"I wish to reiterate that this amount accounts only for those donations to which the donors assigned a monetary value, and that pledges of financial aid have to be processed in accordance with the rules and regulations of the donors before the funds reach the recipients.

"You might have also noticed that some pledges which were already announced in the media are not reflected in our list.

"As previously explained, the DFA, as the focal point on international assistance, is focusing on coordinating initial contact with foreign governments and international organizations intending to render humanitarian assistance and disaster response efforts.

"We undertake a verification process, which involves getting official notification from the foreign government or international organization before the information is added to the list.”

Samantala, ikinatuwa naman ng DFA ang patuloy pa ring dumarating na impormasyon tungkol sa samu’t saring ayuda ng ibang bansa sa humanitarian at disaster response operations.

Ani Hernandez, “The DFA also receives the requests for diplomatic clearance involving the entry and exit of foreign military, government or government-chartered aircraft and seacraft providing humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations."

FILIPINO COMMUNITIES. Ikinasisiya rin ng gobyerno ang balitang maraming Filipino communities sa iba’t ibang bansa ang nag-oorganisa ng mga inisyatibo upang makatulong sa kanilang mga kababayan na labis na apektado ng trahedya.

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Dagdag pa ni Hernandez, “For instance, the Bayanihan Council, the umbrella organization of all Filipino community groups in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, immediately sent relief funds amounting to P110,000 to the Philippine Red Cross.

"Our Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, together with the Filipino community in Malaysia, was able to raise around P43,000 for donation also to the Philippine Red Cross.

“Various Filipino groups in different countries are organizing fund drives and other activities to help uplift the spirit and physical condition of the victims.”

PROPER AUDIT. Sa patuloy na paglaki ng halaga ng tulong para sa mga nasalanta, marami naman ang nanawagan na sana ay makarating talaga sa mga nangangailangan ang naturang mga donasyon.

Sinisigurado naman ng administrasyon ni Pangulong Noynoy Aquino na daraan sa maayos na audit ang mga pondong nalikom.

Sabi ni Budget Secretary Florencio Abad: “The COA [Commission on Audit] will ultimately audit because those donations and grants will enter the government’s books and therefore have to be accounted for.”

Inatasan na raw ni COA Chairperson Grace Pulido-Tan si Commissioner Heidi Mendoza upang pamunuan ang audit team para sa pondong natanggap ng gobyerno.

Si Grace Tan ay matatandaan bilang COA chief na nagtestify sa senado na ang ilang senador—kabilang sina Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, Bong Estrada, at Gregorio Honasan—ang nagbigay ng instructions sa ilang government agencies upang gamitin ang kanilang pork-barrel funds para sa NGOs ni Janet Lim-Napoles.

Si Heidi Mendoza ay matatandaan naman na siyang nagsabi sa Kongreso, noong 2011, na pinatutunayan ng kanyang audit investigation na maanomalya ang paggamit ng military at United Nations peacekeeping funds dito sa bansa.

Noon ay mahigit 20 taon nang naninilbihan sa COA si Heidi Mendoza. Noong panahon ni PNoy, itinalaga siyang commissioner ng COA, kasabay ng pagtalaga kay Grace Tan bilang chair ng COA.

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