DSWD: PH has enough relief funds, foreign aid not needed now

MANILA, Philippines – Social Welfare and Development Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said on Sunday, October 23, that the Philippines is not seeking foreign donations for typhoon-hit areas because it has enough funds.

Taguiwalo gave the explanation in a Facebook post that has been shared more than 22,000 times as of Sunday evening.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is leading relief operations for survivors of Typhoon Karen (Sarika) and Super Typhoon Lawin (Haima).

"Mga mahal naming kababayan, kaunting paliwanag po: hindi tayo humihingi ng foreign assistance o donations mula sa ibang bansa para sa Karen o Lawin dahil nakitang may sapat na pondo ang gobyerno at mga ahensya nito para saklolohan ang mamamayang apektado," Taguiwalo said.

(Our beloved countrymen, I would like to explain: we're not asking for foreign assistance or donations from other countries for areas affected by Karen or Lawin because we have assessed that the Philippine government and its agencies have enough funds to help the affected residents.)

The DSWD chief also said the flow of funds for relief operations has been transparent and corruption-free.

"Pagsisikapan natin na paghusayin at linisin ang sistema ng relief and assistance distribution nang walang halong pulitika. Hindi madali ang pagbabago – mahirap at matagal din ito, pero kung 'di natin sisimulan ngayon, kailan pa?" she added.

(We're striving to improve the system of relief and assistance distribution, with no politics involved. Change is not easy – it's difficult and it takes time, but if we're not going to start now, when?)

As of 2 pm on Sunday, the DSWD said 205,590 families or 968,818 persons in 3,308 barangays have been affected by Lawin in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, and the Bicol Region.

More than P31 million worth of relief assistance has been provided to these affected families, while there is a total of over P851 million in "stockpile and standby funds."

"Hindi tayo dapat maging pala-asa at pala-hingi sa mga dayuhang gobyerno kung kaya nating tumindig sa sariling paa. Kung sama-sama, lahat makakaya," Taguiwalo said.

(We shouldn't always be dependent on foreign governments if we can stand on our own feet. If we work together, we can do anything.) – Rappler.com