“Yolanda Funds? Nasaan?” — Going beyond the memes

There’s been so much noise around the Yolanda relief funds so the responsible thing to do is to look into actual facts and figures.

Below are the sites that give official, comprehensive reports:

Funding the Yolanda Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Program — contains the most updated lists of fund releases, and detailed reports from the support, infrastructure, social services, livelihood and resettlement clusters.

Official PH Government page on Yolanda — contains reports, databases, timelines and updates. Links on this page will lead you to the following pages/sites, among others:

FAiTH

Let’s take time to read and study these reports. If you would like a summary of highlights, I would point you to the text below:

WHAT ARE THE FUNDS?*

The Yolanda funds can be grouped into two:

the promised donations from foreign governments; and
the budget allotted by the national government.
These two funds are very different from each other.

FOREIGN AID.

The promised donations made by foreign governments are documented in FAITH, the Philippine government’s “Foreign Aid Transparency Hub”.

Donor countries are the ones that directly provide the information on the donations.

This information has been public since Nov. 14, 2013 – just one week after the storm.

The gist of the story: only 25% of the total amount has been delivered.

Who has the amount been delivered to?

According to Faith:

“Foreign assistance is not often received in cash form by the Philippine government.

Most donors opt to release pledged funds to affiliated intergovernmental organizations and NGOs (nongovernment organizations).

For instance, the UK government has channeled substantial funds to UNICEF and the Red Cross.

Foreign governments may also extend aid through their own aid agencies, such as USAID for the US.

Alternatively, a donor country may utilize their pledged funds to directly provide assistance in the form of civilian-military teams and assets, as in the deployment of the 148-person Israeli Defense Forces Rescue Team.”

Note that Mar was DILG Secretary during the time of supertyphoon Yolanda. None of the foreign aid-“Yolanda funds” passed through his office.

All of these foreign aid-“Yolanda funds” are accounted for. Palace Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. had this to say:

According to the records of the Foreign Aid Transparency Hub, the Philippines received a total of $386.2 million in foreign aid, 86% of which or $330.8 million were received by non-governmental organizations, multilateral agencies, and others. Out of the total amount, about $26.9 million in cash and $28.5 million in non-cash donations were received by the national government.

All foreign aid received by the country for the benefit of the communities affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda are fully accounted for and have undergone the requisite audit by the Commission on Audit.

How has the amount been used?

With respect to cash aid that the Philippine government has actually received from foreign governments:

“The DSWD uses the aid money for disaster relief and early rehabilitation, which may involve cash-for-work arrangements, shelter repair kits, and shelter assistance, among others.

The NDRRMC, through the OCD, allocates financial aid to disaster victims

The DOH focuses on providing medical aid as relief response.”

The “Philippine government” Yolanda funds actually handled by Mar’s office as DILG Secretary was the RAY fund or the DILG’s “Recovery Assistance on Yolanda.”

The national government allocated amounts – in batches – for the repair and rehabilitation of damaged municipal facilities. These include:

provincial/city/municipal halls,
public markets and
civic centers.
In Region 8, this included fixing DILG offices – the PNP, the BFP,and the BJMP.

Of the nearly P1.8 billion initial rehabilitation fund for towns devastated by Typhoon Yolanda, a huge chunk went to Leyte and its capital Tacloban.

This summary is provided by a website dedicated to busting myths against Mar Roxas. I would recommend that you go through the main report documents through the links I provided above so you can make your own informed assessment.

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