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Foreign aid balloons to P2.36-B; COA to audit donations

Indonesia air force personnel load relief supplies donated by Indonesia government for victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, at Halim Perdanakusuma airport in Jakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013. Foreign governments and agencies have announced a major relief effort to help victims of the Philippine typhoon. AP/Achmad Ibrahim

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines has received a staggering amount of P2,366,669,200 in financial assistance as of Wednesday morning to help the country's typhoon-stricken areas and the calamity victims recover.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), tasked to process and coordinate the donations, said in a statement late Tuesday that the amount, which converts to $54.38 million, is only one half of the assistance the international community extends.

Several nations, besides offering monetary support, sent in manpower for medical and sanitary services as well as recovery operations. Several countries such as the United States and Taiwan deployed utilities such as naval vessels and military planes to transport goods, the DFA said.

As of Wednesday, new countries have joined a growing list of donors expressing their condolences for families who have lost their members and those whose homes were flattened by "Yolanda" (international name: Haiyan), among the most intense weather systems to ever hit land.

Baroness Valerie Amos, United Nations (UN) undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and the emergency relief coordinator, had said that the country needs almost $301 million or P13.174 billion in assistance for relief and rehabilitation of calamity-stricken areas in the Visayas.

The following are the forms and amounts of assistance of nations as of late Tuesday:

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  • AUSTRALIA - P323,653,600 financial aid; medical and search and rescue teams, relief goods
  • BELGIUM - 40 medical personnel for a field hospital; medical and search and rescue teams
  • CANADA - P205,691,000 financial aid; CA $2.5 million worth of purification tablets; relief goods; matching scheme
  • CHINA - P4,552,280 financial aid
  • DENMARK - P77,268,200 financial aid
  • EUROPEAN COMMISSION - P172,816,200 financial aid; two Boeing 747s loaded with relief goods; team of humanitarian experts; medical team
  • FINLAND - 9,500 vaccine and medical packages; two motor boats for rescue operations
  • FRANCE - Group of French first responders; tons of relief goods; medical, search and rescue team
  • GERMANY - P2S,802,700 initial financial aid; medical team, search and rescue; aid organizations with tons of relief goods
  • HUNGARY - search-and-rescue team with equipment and search dogs
  • INDONESIA - $1 million financial aid; C130 aircrafts bringing relief goods, naval asset
  • ISRAEL - two 747 planes with 200 personnel with field medical facilities; medical, search and rescue team; mobile desalination equipment, medical supplies, and food
  • JAPAN - 25 personnel as part of a rapid response medical assistance team
  • LUXEMBOURG - P23,042,100 financial aid; 4 rescue experts as part of UNOCHA's International Humanitarian Partnership team, 2 emergency experts
  • MALAYSIA - Military medics, search and rescue team, blankets and medicine
  • NETHERLANDS - P115,211,000 financial aid through Red Cross
  • NEW ZEALAND - P71,006,300 financial aid through Red Cross
  • NORWAY - P140,424,000 through UNOCHA and Red Cross
  • RUSSIA - Hospital plane (Ilyushian 76 Soviet aircraft) loaded with humanitarian goods, medical team
  • SINGAPORE - P6,909,260 financial aid; civil defense force to assist the UN office in coordinating humanitarian activities; medical team, search and rescue
  • SPAIN - Team to assist in humanitarian activities; two (2) planes loaded with relief goods
  • SWEDEN - financial aid through UNOCHA
  • TAIWAN - P8,622,400 financial aid; one (1) plane loaded with relief goods
  • TURKEY - One (1) plane loaded with relief goods; search and rescue team, medical team
  • UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - P431,120,000 financial aid
  • UNITED KINGDOM - P414,051.000 financial aid through partner organizations
  • UNITED STATES - P4,311,200 financial aid; two (2) medical teams. Mammoth and Rubicon; ships and aircrafts to assist search-and-rescue operations and to airlift emergency supplies, including 2 c-130s (already in PH) and Osprey aircraft
  • VATICAN - P6,466,800 financial aid through local churches in affected areas; prayers and vigils
  • VIETNAM - P4,311,200 financial aid

Senator Francis Escudero said that the Senate has issued letter to the Department of Budget and Management and the Commission on Audit (COA) on Tuesday asking the agencies to make the process of receiving and distribution of foreign aid entering through government more efficient and transparent.

According to COA guidelines, the agency has jurisdiction over all accounts, funds and property entrusted to government and any of its instrumentalities.

"The Commission shall have exclusive authority subject to the limitations in Article IX of the Constitution, to define the scope of its audit and examination," Rule II, Section 1 of COA's 2009 Revised Rules of Procedure.

Donations through independent organizations and the private sector, however, are not subject to COA inspection.

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