Pro-active actions of the Philippine Government on relief operations for victims of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan)
Following the outpouring of international aid for the Philippines in the wake of Super Typhoon Yolanda, the Philippine Government today, 18 November 2013, launched the Foreign Aid Transparency Hub or FAiTH, the first-ever, web-based initiative of its kind in the country that allows the public to monitor the status of foreign assistance to the Philippines in response to disasters and calamities. This is the Philippine Government’s response to the growing need for transparency and accountability in the management of humanitarian donations.
FAiTH is an online portal of 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 portal, can be accessed via www.gov.ph/faith. It shows comprehensive information on humanitarian aid donated to the Philippine government. If the donations are coursed through government agencies—specifically the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Office of Civil Defense of the Department of National Defense (DND)—the portal will likewise show users how the funds were spent.
The FAiTH monitoring team is represented by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Finance (DOF), Commission on Audit (COA), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the Presidential Management Staff (PMS), and the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) under the Office of the President. The DFA is the agency that is the primary data source for FAiTH since it is the main resource for information on foreign aid.
Philippine Army Engineers have been busy clearing roads and building shelters in the hardest hit areas of Typhoon Yolanda. Their priority missions in Tacloban City are:
- to build shelter for the personnel performing Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Operations (HADR)
- to clear roadnets to allow the smooth passage of relief and personnel
- to assist in the installation/operation of a Water Purification System in Tacloban
- to create/repair necessary infrastructure that was destroyed by calamity
As a result, the major roads in and out of areas most affected by Typhoon Yolanda have been opening up and allowing more than 230 tons of emergency relief to be brought into the Philippines. Delivery of emergency relief goods is now gaining pace with helicopters being used to drop food in remote areas still isolated by washed out or damaged roads. The Philippine military have been sending dozens of trucks to the region to help manage relief operations.
President Benigno S. Aquino III has pledged to stay in central Philippines, the area hardest hit by Typhoon Yolanda, until he was satisfied with relief efforts. President Aquino has been meeting with local officials and reaching out to those left homeless by the storm.