Public can now monitor status of foreign aid

Posted at 11/17/2013 5:29 PM | Updated as of 11/17/2013 5:29 PM

MANILA -- The Aquino government has launched a web-based initiative called Foreign Aid Transparency Hub (FAiTH), which will allow the public to monitor the status of foreign assistance coming in for the victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda.

"There's an urgent call now for us to monitor the movement of foreign aid funds for Yolanda so they will go exactly where they're supposed to: to the survivors of the typhoon for whom recovery will be a long and arduous process, and to the communities that need to be rehabilitated as quickly and efficiently as possible," Department of Budget and Management Undersecretary and Chief Information Officer Richard "Bon" Moya said.

"FAiTH is the Aquino administration's pioneering response to this growing need for transparency and accountability in the management of humanitarian donations," he added.

Some sectors earlier called for transparency in the distribution of the aid. The Commission on Audit already promised these will be audited.

The portal, which can be accessed via www.gov.ph/faith, will show to the public how the funds were spent.

Moya said the portal will contain information on calamity aid and assistance -- both in cash and in kind -- received by the Philippines from other countries, multilateral organizations, and also those sent through Philippine embassies abroad.

The FAiTH monitoring team will represented by the Department of Foreign Affairs, DBM, Department of Finance , Commission on Audit, DSWD, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the Presidential Management Staff and the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office under the Office of the President.

"Counter to what most people think, foreign aid isn't given to the Philippine government in hard cash. Instead, these arrive in the form of pledges, which are released to aid groups or their corresponding organizations in the Philippines, such as USAID and Red Cross. In cases like this, FAiTH doesn't monitor these funds; instead, it tracks foreign aid that is coursed through Philippine government agencies," Moya said.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad added: “We believe that other humanitarian organizations and civil society groups want the very same things that this Administration is working for: greater transparency and accountability in the use of funds, especially those that are meant to bring relief and urgent assistance to the victims of calamities.”

“Working together, the Philippine government and the global community can accomplish much toward rebuilding the communities damaged by Yolanda and restoring normalcy to the lives of those who were affected by the typhoon," he said.