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PH Sen Escudero Asks for Audit of Typhoon Donations

All donations to the government are deemed public funds and must be properly accounted for and audited to ease worries of possible misuse, according to Senator Chiz Escudero, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. Escudero wrote to Commission on Audit Chairman Grace Pulido Tan, seeking a full report on the donations here and abroad extended to the government to ensure proper compliance with existing rules and regulations ahead of the plenary debates on the 2014 spending plan next week.

“Such audit and the respective agency’s compliance with rules and regulations will help all of us in quelling any anxiety the public may have on the possibility of these aid falling into the wrong hands or not reaching or benefitting the calamity victims,” Escudero said.

At the same time, Escudero asked Budget Secretary Florencio Abad to provide the finance committee with the guidelines and procedures on the acceptance and utilization of donations from donor countries and international organizations for victims of natural disasters. ??

“We’d like to retrace our steps on how donee agencies comply with the reportorial requirements on acceptance and utilization of donations. GAA mandates that they do. Fund drives are also governed by presidential decrees and administrative orders. These must be adhered to,” he said.

Escudero added: “Proper accounting and utilization of donations is the best that a country like ours battered by natural disasters can do to match the goodwill of individuals, organizations and foreign countries who come to our aid in trying times.”

The senator noted that the deluge of aid pouring into the country for victims of super typhoon “Yolanda” that has displaced millions of people and killed more than 3,000 others in most parts of the Visayas and similar assistance coming in for victims of other calamities, should be properly utilized, disbursed and accounted for.

“All donations shall be used only for the purpose specified by the donor. Anyone who gambles or takes advantage of money and aid intended to help save lives is a betrayal and must be considered a heinous crime. Every single centavo will decide whether a person may survive or die,” Escudero stressed. -PH Senate Press Office