MANILA - The Department of Social Welfare and Development on Monday said it has discovered cases of irregularities regarding monetary donations for victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) in 2013.
In a press briefing, Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said her department conducted an internal assessment of donations given to DSWD following requests from Yolanda victims who did not receive emergency assistance. The Foreign Aid Transparency Hub (FAiTH) website earlier said the Philippine government received P1.202 billion in cash donations and another P1.269 billion in non-cash donations after the typhoon.
"Generally the money has gone to the people but there are cases of irregularities," she said.
Some of the irregularities include delays in the release of the emergency assistance to typhoon victims. In some cases, she said some typhoon victims were not relocated due to prohibition on giving assistance to residents living in danger zones.
Some victims also failed to receive assistance because they were not part of political groupings in some local government units.
"May hindi patas na pagtrato (There was unfair treatment)," she said.
The DSWD chief said the internal assessment does not include the P14 billion in foreign aid given to non-government organizations, multilateral organizations and others.
She said her office received requests from 200,000 claimants who said they did not receive Yolanda aid from the government.
The internal assessment, Taguiwalo said, is not meant to find fault in the previous administration but to set guidelines on how to properly respond to disasters.
One guideline being implemented by the DSWD right now is the immediate release of emergency shelter assistance to victims belonging to the poorest of the poor.
"We need to shell out the money now because if it is two months after, it will be too late. This is why we agreed to P5,000 assistance so they can buy roofs," she said.
A report on the DSWD findings has been submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte, she said.
"We have submitted the report to the President. We have asked him to initiate the investigation," he said.