MANILA, August 7, 2015— Aside from the “slow pace” of rebuilding, the government has consistently fallen short on transparency, particularly with how “Yolanda” funds were used, said the Catholic Church’s humanitarian arm .
Caritas Philippines head, Archbishop Rolando Tirona, said the government has failed to ensure transparency in the disbursement of the multi-billion funds for the project.
“It’s now up to them to explain,” Tirona said. “ It’s just sad that the help from those who are supposed to lead the program is so slow.”
Fr. Edu Gariguez, Caritas executive secretary, said “it’s shameful” that the government has not rebuilt enough to alleviate the plight of the typhoon victims despite the billions of donations it received from other countries.
“It’s just painful that with the huge budget, the survivors are not benefiting from it in times when it’s most needed,” he said.
Gariguez said the government even loaned an additional Php 126 billion from international financial institutions to augment the rebuilding efforts, bringing the total assistance to Php 199 billion as of November last year.
He asked the government to specify the allocation for every program and project to help guarantee transparency.
“Many people want to see more accountability in government, especially [in] the use of funds,” Gariguez said.
“Our point is that whatever is the problem, the government should find the cause and address it,” he added.
Tirona also reiterated how politics continue to hamper the speed of the government’s rehabilitation program and how some politicians use the survivors to promote themselves.
“You (politicians) don’t have to advertise your names for government projects,” he said. (R. Lagarde/CBCPNews)