CANA to monitor Yolanda recovery fund


CANA launched a campaign calling on citizens to monitor and guard against possible attempts to misuse billions of funds now pouring in for relief and recovery for the victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda, which left many parts of central Philippines devastated.

The Yolanda Citizen Watch is CANA’s initial idea and call to citizens to monitor against abuse of calamity funds intended for the victims of Yolanda, drawing in from reports that previous calamity funds only went to pockets of certain politicians and fake NGOs of alleged pork barrel queen Janet Lim-Napoles.

 It calls on members of the media, civil society, faith organizations, schools and universities, and citizens at large to work together to full hold public officials in charge of the relief and recovery efforts to account.

 “The relief effort may be over in weeks  -- the recovery will take years,” says in the Yolanda Citizen Watch page. “So we need to come and organize together to ensure the money goes where it should.”

Super typhoon Yolanda flattened Leyte, Eastern Samar and many parts of the Visayas on November 8, 2013. Said to be strongest typhoon recorded ever, it killed about 4,460 people and affected 11 million people, according to latest United Nations data.

Relief and recovery aid from government and international community quickly poured in. Government funds for this already reached to PhP 51 million, apart from the estimated PhP 4 billion relief funds from countries like the UK, Australia, US and Japan.

Yolanda Citizen Watch has generated more than 500 followers since it was launched November 12, supposedly Day 6 since Yolanda struck. Several netizens have already pledged support to monitor relief funds.

Yolanda Citizen Watch will hold its first public roundtable discussion in December on how people could engage in the relief and recovery efforts through monitoring and reporting on how funds were actually spent. It will reach out to other groups with similar initiatives for broader support.