05/13/2016, 12.30
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Caritas Philippines: Duterte tell where Yolanda victims’ money is

Fr. Gariguez, executive secretary of the organization, appeals to the new government to shed light on the investigation into billions of pesos spent on recovery projects. In 2013, the typhoon struck 11 million people, and many of them never received aid. The president-elect has promised to tackle corruption in six months. Find out how this money " has been spent would be a good start."


Manila (AsiaNews / CBCP) - The new government of the Philippines must tackle the issue of funds that were supposed to arrive to those affected by Typhoon Yolanda, and which are still missing. The new president Rodrigo Duterte, who during the election campaign said he alone was capable to fight corruption,  must "tell how millions of dollars donated from abroad  were spent." This is the appeal launched by Caritas to the new administration that will take office on June 30.

Fr. Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of Caritas, said that "this is an important agenda that the incoming administration needs to address". He added that a thorough investigation on the missing funds would be "a good start" for Duterte, who has described himself as "a dictator" able to defeat crime in six months.

Haiyan/Yolanda hit the Visayas Islands on 8 November 2013. About 11 million people were affected in 574 towns and cities. The price tag for getting back to normal was estimated to be around US$ 8 billion.The Philippine Church has already committed around EUR 9.7 million in recovery projects, assistance and rehabilitation in favor of more than two million people.

In August 2015, Fr. Gariguez had accused the government of using the money allocated for the emergency fund for the general elections held on 9 May. According to the Foreign Aid Transparency Hub, the Philippines has received at least $ 386 million in foreign aid. More than two years after the disaster, however, thousands of people are still waiting for government assistance.

Caritas has confirmed that it will continue to cooperate with Manila to rehabilitate areas devastated by Yolanda: "We have always been open to working together - said Fr. Gariguez - and recently we have started many projects together with the government".

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