Tacloban City, Leyte – To demonstrate transparency on the accounting of donations received by the agency, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman reported yesterday at the ‘Yolanda’ Transparency Forum here that the Department has initially earmarked P779,486,400.15 of the P1,019,316,071.21 total cash/check donations it has so far received to fund programs and services for the recovery and rehabilitation of Typhoon Yolanda survivors.
Of the amount, some P272,604,339 has already been disbursed to defray programs such as core shelter; supplemental feeding; livelihood; provision of pedicabs, motorized bancas, and family kitchen kits; Cash-for-Work (CFW); purchase of forklifts, water dispensers; and, payment for satellite internet service.
The disbursement also covers the provision of toys to ‘Yolanda’ child-survivors through the “Wish Upon A Star” project, repair of regional rehabilitation center for the youth, and financial assistance for DSWD affected employees.
She said that disbursement of remaining funds is ongoing.
Foreign in-kind donations to gov’t, NGOs
Sec. Soliman also mentioned that the value of foreign in-kind donations that were coursed through DSWD is P3.08 billion. Of this, only 4.21 percent or P129.8 million was donated to the government.
“The rest went to their partner-organizations or NGOs,” Sec. Soliman emphasized.
Around P2.23 billion-worth of goods were processed at the Cebu One-Stop Shop while P851.5 million were facilitated at the Manila One-Stop Shop.
A total of 693 foreign donors passed through these one-stop shops.
Continuing relief ops
Sec. Soliman also reported about the continuing relief distribution of DSWD.
To date, a total of 6,584,419 food packs with 3-kg or 6-kg rice have been distributed to Regions IV-B, V, VI, VII, VIII, and CARAGA. Eastern Visayas which was hardest-hit has received 5,658,901 food packs.
She reiterated that provision of food packs will continue until the survivors are able to meet their daily food needs.
Likewise, P65 million-worth of non-food items such as mats, tarps, jugs, caseroles, nets, utensils were also given out.
Emergency shelter kits were also distributed to 7,615 households.
Though the magnitude of ‘Yolanda’ tested the national government’s disaster management response system, Sec. Soliman emphasized that the disaster has also brought many lessons to the Department.
She said that these lessons will pave the way for an enhanced relief goods handling, warehousing and logistics, development of surge capacity teams, better disaster response system, and building safer and better-equipped evacuation centers that can stand strong wings.
Sec. Soliman said that the Department is also looking into new approaches such as buy-back of foreign-donated tents from the internally displaced persons before moving to alternative transitional houses, construction of additional alternative shelters for displaced families especially those living in ‘no-dwelling zones’, and building of resilient core shelter units.
It will also enhance its policies on monitoring and distribution of donations and emergency procurement.
“We need to develop what we call ‘surge-capacity team’, that can respond quickly to disaster-stricken areas. The national government will also strengthen its quick response plan in crisis situation through regular review of previous disaster responses,” Sec. Soliman said.
The forum which carried the theme, “Enhancing Information-Sharing and Transparency in the Assistance to Yolanda Areas” aimed to look into the convergence and financing of multi-sectoral efforts for reconstruction.
It was convened by the UP Visayas Tacloban College and the UP School of Health Sciences, with the support of The Asia Foundation. It was undertaken in close coordination with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), one of the agencies tasked to monitor the Foreign Aid Transparency Hub (FAiTH).
Over a hundred participants from various sectors attended the forum. ###