Next admin told: Investigate unused ‘Yolanda’ funds

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MANILA, May 13, 2016— A Church charity has called for the next administration’s urgent action in investigating the Aquino government’s unused Yolanda funds amounting to billions of pesos.

According to Caritas Philippines, the public, especially the typhoon victims, deserve to know how the hefty donations given by foreign donors were spent.

“This is an important agenda that the incoming administration needs to address,” said Fr. Edwin Gariguez, Caritas Philippines executive secretary, in Filipino.

Presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly vowed to be a “dictator” against corruption and criminality in the country.

Gariguez said an investigation on the Yolanda funds will be “a good start” for the next administration which promised to stamp out irregularities in the government.

“This is a good angle that needs scrutiny and we need to hasten the giving of aid because this is one of the issue,” the priest said.

More than two years after the typhoon, Gariguez stressed many survivors are still waiting help from the government.

He added that the Church will continue to collaborate with the government and its efforts to rehabilitate areas ravaged by Yolanda in 2013 and other programs to help the poor.

“We are always open to collaboration and just recently, we had a lo of projects together with the government, specially since it’s clear that these are in response to the needs of the country,” he said.

Records from the Foreign Aid Transparency Hub showed that the Philippines received about US$386.2 million in foreign aid for the Yolanda victims. (R. Lagarde/CBCPNews)

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