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Freeman Region

Solon asks gov’t: Show Yolanda rehab records

Ryan Ponce Pacpaco - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines – The House independent bloc yesterday asked concerned government agencies to produce all financial records and other documents pertaining to government’s rehabilitation efforts in Yolanda-stricken areas.

Leyte first district Representative Ferdinand Martin “FM” G. Romualdez said the records would help determine the allocations that have been made and how these billions of funds were spent.

Romualdez said the bloc wants to examine the Yolanda documents from the Departments of Budget and Management, Energy, Social Welfare and Development, Interior and Local Government and Public Works and Highways, as well as the National Housing Authority.

He added that the group will also demand a formal explanation from the departments on why they cannot come out with an itemized breakdown or accounting of the Yolanda funds more than a year after the tragedy.

“It’s a basic rule in government that each and every disbursement of funds must be fully documented. Bakit hindi makapaglabas ng kahit na anong kuwentada ang DBM, DSWD, DOE, DILG, DPWH at NHA kung saan at kanino na napunta ang mga pondo para sa mga biktima ni Yolanda?” Romualdez asked.

Abakada partylist Representative Jonathan de la Cruz noted that the bloc and other House members have already filed several resolutions seeking a breakdown or audit of Yolanda funds. “Nobody in the six departments has done anything to accommodate our requests. To this day, all we know is what government officials claim or allege in the media,” he said.

Buhay Hayaang Yumabong (Buhay) partylist Representative Lito Atienza reminded the public that Yolanda funds, as reported in the media, are in the tens or hundreds of billions, including donations and aid from the private sector and international communities.

Atienza said Congress alone approved a P14.6-billion supplemental budget for Yolanda and other victims of calamities last year. But up to now, Congress has no idea about the breakdown of how the funds were spent, he added.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad is now seeking a P23.4-billion supplemental budget from Congress and around P9.5 billion is purportedly for ‘Yolanda’ reconstruction and rehabilitation.

“Let’s all remain vigilant. Let’s all keep our eyes and ears open. Join us in pressing the government for an immediate accounting of Yolanda funds. There is still no clear end in sight to the victims’ sufferings,” Romualdez added.

BUDGET SECRETARY FLORENCIO ABAD

BUHAY HAYAANG YUMABONG

DEPARTMENTS OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT

FUNDS

NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY

REPRESENTATIVE FERDINAND MARTIN

REPRESENTATIVE JONATHAN

ROMUALDEZ

YOLANDA

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