• DSWD unearths more ‘Yolanda’ anomalies

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    It has been three years since Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) wrecked large areas in the Visayas but the government response to help victims remains a controversial issue as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Monday claimed it found cases of irregularities in the dispersal of aid.

    Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said her department conducted an internal assessment of donations given to the government following complaints from Yolanda victims who did not receive emergency assistance.

    “There are around 200,000 claimants who expressed the complaint that they were victims of Yolanda in Region 8 and Region 6 but they were not given the assistance needed,” Taguiwalo said during a press conference.
    She said the aid should have been urgently released and “not three years, not two years after.”

    “I think, generally, the money has gone to the people but there are cases of irregularities, non-compliance or non-implementation… The disqualification, the exclusion of emergency shelter assistance for victims of Yolanda is widespread,” Taguiwalo said.

    Some of the irregularities include delays in the release of emergency assistance to typhoon victims. In some cases, she said some victims were not relocated because of the ban on giving assistance to residents living in danger zones.

    Some victims also failed to receive assistance because they were not part of political groupings.

    “It went through the local government units and again, there was unfair treatment. So, there were people who were victims of Yolanda but who were not part of the political groupings of particular local government officials so they were excluded. We have that a lot,” Taguiwalo said.

    The DSWD secretary said her department had already submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte a report on the supposed irregularities.

    “We have submitted the report to the President already of a particular irregularity and we have asked him to initiate the investigation. So we will come out with that by next month — before the third year of Yolanda,” Taguiwalo said.

    She clarified that the internal assessment was not meant to find fault but to set guidelines on how to properly respond to disasters.

    One guideline being implemented by the DSWD right now is the immediate release of emergency shelter assistance to victims belonging to the poorest of the poor.

    “So, I think, the spirit there is we don’t want any form of irregularity, of any corruption. The President is very clear about it. Our marching orders from Day One is (to give) prompt and compassionate assistance,” Taguiwalo said.

    “So we are doing our best to make sure that the Yolanda experience in terms of delayed provision of emergency shelter assistance should not be repeated,” she added.

    Yolanda, considered the deadliest typhoon to hit land in recent history, battered the Eastern Visayas Region in late 2013, killing more than 6,000 people and displacing millions.

    The devastation galvanized countries into action. Foreign aid, according to the Foreign Aid Transparency Hub, amounted to $386.2 million.

    Even before he officially assumed office, Duterte has been urged to investigate alleged irregularities in the distribution of the funds under the administration of his predecessor, Benigno Aquino 3rd.

    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon himself visited Tacloban City in Leyte, one of the hardest hit areas, to assess the damage and rehabilitation efforts being undertaken by the government.

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    6 Comments

    1. These tragedies during Aquino administration from the Luneta hostage taking, to the helpless Yolanda victims to the Mamasapano SAF44 deaths to the Kidipawan incident and Lumad killings are all caused by the neglect and incompetence of the former administration. The saddest part is no one will be held accountable, no one will be jailed, its business as usual.

    2. This case should be what the CHR GROUP should FOCUS INTO !!!
      The RIGHTS OF THE YOLANDA VICTIMS TO RECEIVE THE MONEY AND FOOD INTENDED FOR THEM AT THE TIME WHEN THEY NEEDED IT MOST !!!

      While there were thousands of victims went hungry (some died of hunger) , tons of food were not distributed and just left to rot and later on thrown away.
      Was it because the former Mayor of Tacloban is a Romualdez and the President of the Country at that time is an Aquino ?

      While there were MILLIONS OF DOLLARS (intended for housing)from BENEVOLENT COUNTRIES to spend , there are still hundreds (maybe thousands) of victims who are homeless.

      WHAT HAPPENED ?

    3. Some victims also failed to receive assistance because they were not part of political groupings.
      ——————————————–

      Typical Philippines government officials,

      Even when the world donates the money to help the victims the Philippines government steals the money from who it was intended for. Also typical for Philippines Justice system no one will be convicted of anything since it takes a average of 7 to 8 years to bring anyone accused to trial.

      Who was in charge of the distribution of funds ? Corazon Dinky Soliman

      When are Aquino, Abad, Roxas, Gazmin and Soliman going to be held accountable for all the missing money ?

      Never that’s the way it is in the Philippines always has been always will be.

      • I am really upset with the way they distribute assistance because I am one of the beneficiaries of that assistance to dswd employees affected by the said super typhoon yolanda under the president’s social fund (PSF). they had released the 1st tranche but late of december 2015. i had been calling our regional office 6 since we are the one who complied 1st of their so called audit and compliance requirements needed for teh release of the second tranche…the central office said that the region 7 and 8 did not yet finish their validation…how come till now these regions which where so much affected were not able to comply and do their validation? that’s a billion dollar question! i have been calling the CO’s cellular number hotline 09263302648 and even their landline number (02) 9318101 via long distance but nobody is answering! is that Daang Matuwid? I do hope our new administration can read this so dat they can act on this…true to the Filipino saying ” ANHIN MO PA ANG DAMO KUNG PATAY NA YUNG KABAYO”!!!