Almost 100 days after the devastation of the Eastern Visayas from supertyphon Yolanda, update son the progress of the relief and rehabilitation programs are now seldom heard. Haiyan, the international name of the strongest typhoon to make landfall, left thousands dead, survivors displaced, and properties destroyed.

The task of our group for the Freedom from Debt Coalition is to help monitor the relief and rehabilitation efforts for the survivors and the affected areas. My assignment is to track the financial aid for relief and rehab. Donations from local and international groups are overwhelming. Tracking is tedious because these funds are directed to different government agencies and non-government organizations. Many are still pledges and updating whether these donations have actually been received is another challenge. Also, other donations are not publicized that is why estimating the actual aid is difficult.

When all these donations arrive, the greater challenge of transparency and accountability arises. The data that we have only accounts for the financial aid that comes in and does not include how these donations are used or whether they are properly and efficiently utilized. Questions whether these funds are used appropriately still bothers many of us. We should be vigilant! We should help ensure that these aids end up in helping the victims and in rebuilding Visayas.

– Justin C. Pagaduan


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