Today is the 3rd anniversary of the tragedies caused by Supertyphoon Yolanda and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is releasing this 3rd report on its investigations on its own `Yolanda’ efforts.
DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo, speaking today to `Yolanda’ survivors in Tacloban and addressing other survivors in other regions severely hit by `Yolanda’, said that they are releasing their initial findings in response to the clamor of Filipinos for an explanation as to where all the donations and government disaster funds went.
“We want to inform the Filipino people, the international community and most particularly the `Yolanda’ survivors regarding the `Yolanda’ funds and how they have been utilized. Most of the funds were alloted for Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA), but even now thousands of `Yolanda’ survivors and their families have yet to receive a single peso. In the meantime, a shocking 62% of all DSWD core shelters have yet to be built,” she said.
“I have already made all these findings known to President Rodrigo Duterte, as well as informed him of the demands of `Yolanda’ survivors for justice and accountability. He has declared his preparedness to address these issues, and said that he is not indifferent to the plight of the poor in Tacloban and the other provinces devastated by `Yolanda’,” the Secretary continued.
Cash Donations to DSWD
From No. 11, 2013 to June 30, 2016, DSWD received Php1,165,797,345.13 from local and international donations.
Local donations ranged from the lowest at Php 75.65 (received on Dec. 3, 2013 from Sagip Bata – Labok) up to a maximum of Php 25M (received Nov. 16, 2013 from Hyundai Asia Resources Inc.)
Donations in foreign currency ranged from USD 1 (received on Nov. 21, 2013 from Angat Kabataan para sa Bayan of San Rafael, Bulacan) to USD 10M (received Nov. 26, 2013 from the Ministry of Finance Kingdom of Saudi Arabia);
Other nations sent donations, such as the following: Malaysia (USD 1M); Pakistan (USD 1M); Indonesia (USD988,821.62); Republic of the Union of Myanmar (USD 100,000.00); Australia (USD 450,670); Nigeria (Php 14,005,405.13);
By the end of June 2016, expenses from the donations reached Php 1,137,244,374.06. On August 11, 2016, Field Office V returned Php 6,613,669.35. Hence, by the end of August 2016, total expenses reached Php 1,130,630,704.71. The remaining balance from donations is Php 35,166,640.42.
ADB Grant for Construction of Core Shelters: (from DREeAMB report)
Here are findings from some of the projects funded for cash donations and from ADB:
a. The contractor for the boat garage has billed the LGU of Guiuan, Eastern Samar for 85% completion. But on actual site visit, the construction is less than 20% completed based on plan.
b. The original location of core shelter project of LGU Guiuan, Eastern Samar did not materialize. Instead, during data-gathering, it was found that the LGU was demolishing some of the transition homes in Brgy. Cogon in preparation for the construction of the core shelters. These transition homes were constructed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) using DSWD funds.
c. IOM was awarded P189M for the construction of 2,480 transition shelters (TS) at P76,210 per unit in Leyte, Eastern and Western Samar covering the project duration from August 1, 2014 to December 2015.
As of the September 2016 validation, they have been able to construct 770 TS and 640 Timber Houses (total of 1,410 units, 57% of the original target) for a total cost of P201M (additional 6.35% from the original budget). The balance of P12M was taken from Foreign Grants fund of ADB paid to IOM on June 20, 2016. Cost of the 770 transition shelters was P76,210.00 per unit and the cost of the 640 timber homes was P222,372.34 per unit of the shelters.
More on IOM Shelter
The IOM was given the project to construct transitional shelters for `Yolanda’ survivors in Leyte, Eastern and Western Samar. The amount released was P121,000,000.00/P12,000,000.00 and these were released on September 8, 2015 and June 28, 2016. The total project cost was P201 million, and the project duration was from August 1, 2014 to December 2015.
1) The IOM did a major change in the number of units it was supposed to construct and design without the DSWD’s proper evaluation. It converted 1,709 temporary shelters (TS) to 640 timber houses (TH) which resulted in excessive cost and a smaller number of beneficiaries.
a) Decreased number of shelters constructed by 1,070 or 43% from the 2,480 TS to 1410 TS/TH deprived, 1,070 beneficiaries of houses costing P81,544,700.
b) INCREASED number of shelter cost by 192% of P146,162.34 per unit as compared with the cost of a TS and 122% or P122,372.34 increase as against the cost of a DSWD standard core shelter of P100,000 per unit.
c) Increase in project cost by 6% or 12 million from P189,000,000 to P201,000,00 without increasing the number of temporary shelters.
2) Total overhead is P82,777,076 or 41% of total project cost of P201 million which is in excess of 14% allowable overhead.
3) One hundred thirty-three (133) TS were dismantled, costing P18,959,574.50 and these only lasted nine months from the date of transfer to owners, when the TS can actually last as long as FIVE (5) yeas. These TS were also upgraded by the DSWD to Core Shelters at a cost of P10,135,930. This resulted in a waste of government funds for the construction of TS when the needed shelters are core shelters. This rendered the funds for the 133 TS as wasted funds.
Changes and Remedies
Sec. Taguiwalo said that given the findings of the investigation, some steps are already being considered for implementation.
a. For DReAMB:
• Formulate new guidelines for distribution of ESA; Consult all the stakeholders, internal and external, of the project in crafting/formulating policies; Include guidelines to define partially and totally damaged homes
• Review guidelines for core shelter program to include provision that LGUs should secure lots for the relocation areas before funds are downloaded to them;
• To review the documentary requirements of the existing policies on disaster programs and assess their significance;
b. For DSWD, in general:
• Review guidelines for approval of projects to organizations which still have accountabilities with DSWD;
• Review guidelines to compel LGUs to liquidate funds received from DSWD;
c. For Field Offices:
• Enhance technical assistance and monitoring functions of Field Offices to LGUs which received DSWD program funds;
• For the Field Office VI to mobilize the Quick Response Teams to augment in the recovery and rehabilitation phase and request additional human resources from the Central Office to support its DRRMU operations.