THE Catholic Church has strongly criticized the Aquino administration for its failure to curb corruption, which it said continues to hinder the speedy delivery of services to the poor.
Palo, Leyte Archbishop Oscar Florencio, a member of the Secular Franciscan Order (SFO), was the latest to join the growing ranks of priests and bishops who decried the government’s inefficiency and lack of transparency in handling public funds, including the P199 million Yolanda rehabilitation fund.
The priest said during a recent gathering of the clergy in Cebu, the OFS came out with a collective stand calling on the government to provide prompt response to the needs of the poor and to do away with red tape.
Earlier, NASSA/Caritas executive secretary Fr. Edwin Gariguez sounded the alarm on the possible use of Yolanda funds in next year’s elections following recent studies showing the prolonged delays in fund releases under the government’s comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan (CRRP) for Super Typhoon Yolanda.
Data from a recent study by NASSA/Caritas Philippines, Development and Peace and other advocacy groups showed that only P73.51 billion or 41.61 percent of the P170 billion funding requirements have been released as of March 2015.
The study further said that only P2.4 billion of the targeted P26 billion for social services was funded in 2014.
Gariguez also slammed the juggling of typhoon funds following a report from the Department of Budget and Management that showed that the budget for the reconstruction of Yolanda-hit areas is shared with other rehabilitation efforts for other calamities such as the Bohol earthquake.
“This is another cause for concern. Why do they have to mix up the funds for the rehabilitation efforts of different calamities? This is a clear disregard of basic accounting principles. Again, this clearly shows the government’s ‘super inefficiency’,” Gariguez said.