Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, made the statement as she noted that in December 2011 the government has downloaded US$500 million from the World Bank, from its Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat-DDO).
Meanwhile, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released PhP961 million for recovery and reconstruction efforts in areas affected by Tropical Storm Sendong.
"We have PhP900 million released by the DBM for post-Sendong, and the drawdown from World Bank worth US$500 million. These are huge funds and we must ensure that the needs of the victims and communities affected by Sendong are covered. The appropriate government agency should give a report on how these funds were used. We have to make sure that there is transparency and accountability in the disbursement of funds, especially those coming from donor institutions," Legarda pointed out.
Earlier, Legarda filed Senate Resolution 740, directing the Senate to conduct an inquiry on the utilization of foreign aid for post-Sendong relief, recovery and reconstruction efforts.
The Senator explained that there is a need to determine the total amount and allocation of foreign aid received for post-Sendong efforts, the implementing agencies, status of utilization, number of beneficiaries and other measureable accomplishments from the usage of foreign aid.
"The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC), in coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and Department of Finance (DOF), should efficiently coordinate reconstruction efforts of various donors and manage resources that have been received by the national government, a responsibility to the calamity victims as well as to our partners in the international community," Legarda stressed. (www.ugnayan.com)