DSWD: P700-M Yolanda donations disbursed, fully accounted for

From the Department of Social Welfare and Development

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) clarified today that it has already fully disbursed the P779,486,400.15 local and foreign cash donations it has received in December 2013 and that these are fully accounted for.

The clarification came after news reports mentioned that an audit report of Typhoon Yolanda relief operations cited that DSWD has yet to spend the P782 million cash donations it received from local and foreign donors.

“At the time the audit was conducted, we were still doing relief operations and was still using the Department’s existing funds and ready supplies, so much of the cash donations would really not have been really touched yet,” DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman clarified, adding that the cash donations were really intended for the implementation of rehabilitation efforts based on proposals of affected local government units (LGU).

She also noted, “The audit report only covered until December 2013, just a month after ‘Yolanda’. So understandably, the utilization [of the donations] will still be low.”

The Department explained that the cash donations were used based on approved Work and Financial Plan (WFP).

According to the WFP, the amount was used for the Core Shelter Assistance Program, Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) where families with totally damaged houses received P30,000 each and those with partially damaged houses got P10,000, Supplemental Feeding Program, and livelihood assistance.

As of August 28, the DSWD has received a total of P1,121,890,457.41 local and foreign cash donations. Some 90% of this has already been utilized including the more than P700 million received in 2013.

A portion of the balance of P117 million has already been allocated for ESA, cash-for-work in support for ESA, provision of pedicabs, warehouse rentals, and administrative expenses.

The Department is still also waiting for project proposals of typhoon-affected LGUs for part of the remaining balance in the donations.

“We cannot easily transfer funds to LGUs without a clear proposal on how the budget will be used,” Sec. Soliman said.

DSWD likewise reiterated that the spoilage of relief goods from Cebu City and in Isabel, Leyte, also mentioned in the report, was because the goods got wet while in transit at sea.

These were sorted out by the Department, and those found to be unfit for human consumption were reported to COA and were subsequently disposed of.

Sec. Soliman assured that those accountable of the incident will be held liable.

The Secretary also guaranteed all donors that their donations are fully accounted for and will go to the rightful beneficiaries.