Suspicions that unused Yolanda funds may be used for 2016 elections valid

4 November 2015

Bersyon sa Filipino.

Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos today said there is basis for apprehension by the public that unused funds intended for survivors of super-typhoon Yolanda may be diverted and used for the 2016 elections.

“I guess so, nakikita naman natin marami talagang pondo ng gobyerno ang ginagamit sa halalan,” said Marcos when asked by media on the possibility the Yolanda funds could be used by the administration to boost the chances of its bets in the 2016 elections.

Marcos noted that until now the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) refuses to answer his inquiries as to where the billions of pesos in international donations on funding for relief agencies went.

In addition to unused disaster funds, the senator cited reports about expired medicines and relief goods intended for Yolanda survivors.

Likewise, Marcos said that two years since the typhoon the government has yet to deliver on its promise of providing shelter to those rendered homeless as a result of the disaster.

The National Housing Authority earlier said the government has built 16,000 or fewer than 10 percent of the 205,128 homes supposed to be built for Yolanda survivors.

“Kaya naman siguro dapat mahiya-hiya naman sila sa pinaparusahan nila na mga biktima ng Yolanda na nag-aantay ng tulong sa pamahalaan. Masyado nang mahaba yung dalawang taon na pinag-aantay ang tao,” Marcos said.

The senator said he is supporting calls for a Senate investigation on the unutilized fund for Yolanda relief and rehabilitation.

Marcos, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Works, conducted an investigation into alleged sub-standard bunk houses the government built as temporary shelters for survivors of typhoon Yolanda.

Marcos said he is continuing his efforts to conduct a “closer examination on the ground” to see exactly what the situation is in the areas hit by Yolanda, which devastated the Visayas on November 8, 2013.