By Bernadette E. Tamayo | Journal Online
Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. has appealed to the government to use “idle” calamity funds for permanent shelters for survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda and help victims of other calamities.
Marcos cited the report of the Commission on Audit (CoA) which bared that as of the end of 2014 unused calamity funds and donations coursed through the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) under the Department of National Defense (DND) has reached over P923 million.
The CoA said the biggest donation received was P137 million which went to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, managed by the OCD. Out of this amount, CoA said only P38.7million was released as of the end of 2014, leaving an unutilized amount of P98.2 million.
“It has been two years since typhoon Yolanda devastated Tacloban and other nearby areas but many of the survivors are still complaining that they have yet to get permanent shelters that the government promised for them,” said Marcos.
Marcos, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Works, had already conducted an investigation into the alleged “sub-standard” bunk houses for Yolanda survivors.
A group of Yolanda survivors cited data from the National Housing Authority (NHA), which showed that only 534 out of the 13,801 targeted permanent houses have been built by the government as of September this year.