• More than P770M in ‘Yolanda’ aid disbursed – DSWD

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    The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Tuesday said it has fully disbursed the P779,486,400.15 in local and foreign cash donations that it received in December 2013 and that these are fully accounted for.

    The clarification came after an audit report of Typhoon Yolanda relief operations said the DSWD is yet to spend the P782-million cash donations that it got from local and foreign donors.

    The department did not say why its figure differed from that mentioned in the audit report.

    “At the time the audit was conducted, we were still doing relief operations and were still using the department’s existing funds and ready supplies, so much of the cash donations would really not have been really touched yet,” DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said, adding that the cash donations were really intended for implementation of rehabilitation efforts based on proposals of affected local government units (LGUs).

    “The audit report only covered until December 2013, just a month after Yolanda. So understandably, the utilization [of the donations]will still be low,” according to Soliman.

    The DSWD explained that the cash donations were used based on the approved Work and Financial Plan (WFP).

    According to the WFP, the amount was used for the core shelter and emergency shelter assistance programs where families with totally damaged houses received P30,000 each and those with partly damaged houses got P10,000 each.

    As of August 28, the DSWD had received a total of P1,121,890,457.41 in local and foreign cash donations, some 90 percent of which have been utilized, including the more than P770 million received in 2013.

    A portion of the balance of P117 million has been allocated for the emergency shelter assistance program, cash-for-work in support of the program, provision of pedicabs, warehouse rentals and administrative expenses.

    The department is waiting for project proposals from typhoon-affected LGUs that will be funded by the remaining donation balance.

    “We cannot easily transfer funds to the LGUs without a clear proposal on how the budget will be used,” Soliman said. AILEEN ALEJO

     

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