The Senate is most likely to conduct a hearing on the possible irregularities or misuse of funds for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda, as well as alleged negligence that led to non-distribution of relief goods. This is after the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) recently announced that it will conduct an internal probe on these matters.
This Monday, October 24, DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo revealed that there are around 200,000 Yolanda victims who have been complaining that they never received any emergency shelter or at least financial assistance from the past administration. In a press briefing in Malacañang, she said that most of the claimants are farmers from Regions 6 and 8.
“We have submitted the report to the President already and we asked him to initiate the investigation. The money has gone to the people but there are cases of irregularities or non-compliance… The exclusion of emergency shelter assistance is widespread,” Taguiwalo said, who has been busy distributing relief goods to the victims of Typhoon Lawin.
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Super Typhoon Yolanda (Typhoon Haiyan) made its landfall on November 8, 2013, and has been dubbed as one of the strongest typhoons in the country. Based on official records, the death toll is 6,340 but over a thousand people went missing. This is despite the fact that the PNoy administration said it has made some preparations for such disaster.
Apparently, there have been allegations of negligence on the part of then-DILG Secretary Mar Roxas and then-DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman. There were also reports of expired and spoiled relief goods that were not distributed to the Yolanda victims, as well as accusations of misuse of funds, especially the donations from other countries.
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And because there is now a very strong call for a Senate probe on Yolanda funds and relief goods, Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chair Senator Richard ‘Dick’ Gordon has plans to conduct a hearing as soon as possible. When asked by reporters if Roxas and Soliman will be invited to attend, Sen. Gordon said, “Definitely, yes. And they should come.”