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DND welcomes probe on disaster fund misuse

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of National Defense (DND) is confident that an investigation would clear its officials of allegations of misusing government funds for victims of natural disasters.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, DND spokesman Peter Galvez said they don’t have a problem explaining the allegations to investigators.

“It is important for us to tell the public what really happened,” he said. “It’s just right that we shed light on this matter at hand.” 

Galvez said the DND is ready to send representatives to the investigation to show that the funds were spent properly.

“We will be cleared of this one,” he said.

The Commission on Audit (COA) has reported that the DND spent a huge amount of the Quick Response Funds (QRF) for training programs, repair and construction of offices and other items not related to disaster response.

The QRF was intended to support relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction programs in disaster-hit areas.

The COA said only less than two percent of the QRF for 2013 or about P6.65 million was used to buy relief items for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda.

State auditors also reported that the DND had channeled a huge part of the QRF to its bureaus for the purchase of petroleum, oil lubricants and other equipment.

In a statement last Saturday, the DND said the QRF was used for disaster mitigation and preparation.

“Transport to and from the calamity affected areas is a primordial element of any emergency response activity,” the DND said. “In fact, during Yolanda in November 2013, fuel allocated as war reserves were utilized as we are committed not to stop until the job is done; and this same fuel needs to be replenished.” 

The DND said pre-disaster activities involve the organization, training and maintenance of response units for actual disaster response operations.

“It is essential that capacities and capabilities are enhanced, particularly for the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines), who are among the first responders in disaster response operations, and the OCD (Office of Civil Defense), who administers the comprehensive national civil defense  and disaster risk and reduction management program,” the DND said.

 

ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES

DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE

DISASTER

DND

GALVEZ

OFFICE OF CIVIL DEFENSE

PETER GALVEZ

QUICK RESPONSE FUNDS

RESPONSE

TYPHOON YOLANDA

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