Gov’t vows each peso in foreign Yolanda aid to be accounted For
The Philippine government launched the online portal Foreign Aid Transparency Hub (Faith) last year in a bid to keep track and protect Yolanda donations and pledges against misuse. But after criticism from donor nations and users, the president’s spokesman assured that major updates will take place.
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda announced that the new version of Faith will allow diplomatic corps to access the website through usernames. The donor organisations and countries are asked to identify where they channeled their donations and how they were used. They will also be asked to put a value on their non-cash donations for greater accuracy.
The usernames will come from the Department of Foreign Affairs, said Lacierda.
Aside from allowing diplomats to verify the value of their donations, the updated website will also track all donations coursed through government departments.
Another aspect that the updated site will reflect is the status of foreign pledges that have yet to be received by the government. Earlier this month, Rehab Secretary Panfilo Lacson said that the government will soon actively follow up on pledges. According to Faith, of the Php25.88b cash and non-cash pledges, the Philippines has so far only tracked Php643m in cash donations.
Lacierda said ‘We want to make sure that the foreign governments’ donations are fairly reported [and] we want to make sure the people are informed where their donations are going.’