COA: NDRRMC financial assistance given to only 1 Marawi siege victim
MANILA, Philippines — The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) has given financial assistance to only one victim of the Marawi siege, according to the Commission on Audit (COA).
In its audit report of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) released last May 20, COA said that out of the P36.9 million donations given to the NDRRMC, only one assistance for relatives of deceased victims, worth P10,000, was released.
“Clearly, the donations were not utilized to provide for the much needed support of the Marawi Siege victims,” the commission said in its report.
“The amount of financial assistance to be granted to the families of disaster victims shall be Ten Thousand Pesos (₱10,000) for the dead and Five Thousand Pesos (₱5,000) for the injured,” they added.
Meanwhile, COA said OCD has not appropriated any funds for Marawi recovery, rehabilitation, and its reconstruction program.
“OCD had no Appropriated Fund for the Marawi Recovery, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Program nor did it receive any SARO (special allotment release order) for the same purpose,” COA explained.
According to the report, most of the donations for the Marawi siege victims came from the Embassy of India (P25.57 million), followed by the Embassy of Thailand (P5.09 million), and the provincial government of Bulacan (P4 million).
In May 2017, thousands of Marawi residents were displaced, with many even killed, after Islamic State (IS) sympathizers from the Maute Group took over the Islamic city in Lanao del Sur.
READ: Debris clearing begins inside Marawi City ground zero https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1106762/debris-clearing-begins-inside-marawi-city-ground-zero
Recently, President Rodrigo Duterte said he would not spend government funds for the rehabilitation of Marawi, but would leave it to wealthy business people in the city to spend for the city’s reconstruction.
Marawi civic leader and former senatorial candidate Samira Gutoc took offense with Duterte’s statements, saying it was a ‘lousy excuse’ for the administration’s lousy efforts.
According to COA, the donations were not distributed possibly because victims needed to produce a lot of documents to be qualified for the grants. NDRRMC supposedly required injured persons to present medical certificates, police reports, and endorsement for the payment of claims.
Meanwhile, relatives of dead persons should provide police reports, death certificates, certification from the barangay captain, proof of relationship with the victim, and other endorsements.
“The production alone of the above documents could be very burdensome for some victims, which could be one of the causes of low utilization of the donated funds,” COA said.
“The poor utilization of the donated funds defeated the purpose of donation and that the good intention of the donors for human consideration was not fully served,” the commission explained. (Editor: Eden Estopace)
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