What caused the 6-month delay in the release of funding for repair of schools destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan?

It’s always the same, year in and year out. The opening of the new school year in the Philippines never fails to make headline news. The figure now is twenty million. That’s the number of Filipino school kids who trooped to their classes today — a number just short of the population of Australia. Their plight, as the reports on mainstream media would have it, makes them akin to “heroes”. What with the floods, traffic, crooks, withering temperatures, and the creepy crawly predators that infest Philippine streets, these reports make it sound like the average Filipino student is lucky to make it to their classrooms alive.

No relief in sight for students in Haiyan-devastated areas
No relief in sight for students in Haiyan-devastated areas

And that’s even IF (in all caps) there actually are classrooms to get to. In a stroke of incredible timing, Philippine President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III reportedly released today one billion pesos to repair state universities and colleges (SUCs) in areas devastated by super-typhoon Haiyan which struck central Philippines in November 2013. That’s right — right smack on the first day of school.

It sucks to be a SUC in the Philippines, doesn’t it?

The order to release the funds came just as classes were about to start, which means some students would return to damaged facilities and would have to wait for repairs to be completed.

Earlier, Sen. Francis Escudero expressed frustration that much of the huge amount that Congress had allocated for various rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts remained unreleased and unused.

The Commission on Higher Education submitted the fund request for the school repairs to the Department of Budget Management (DBM) in March, in the hope they could begin repairs in the summer before classes resume. It was told that budget officials were waiting for the guidelines for the fund release.

What exactly where these guidelines for the release of these funds?

Who was formulating them?

Why did they take so long to formulate and issue?

Because there is no freedom of information in the Philippines, we will probably not find out anytime soon. But suffice to say, many students won’t be getting the right facilities to learn their lessons for many months this school year. As early as mid-November 2013, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs had already issued a situation report indicating that almost USD24.7 million would be needed to fully rehabilitate schools damaged by Haiyan. That was a full six months ago.

Other foreign aid agencies have also pleaded their cases to the government to put priority on restoring education infrastructure in the disaster zones. “We need to get children back to schools… to bring back a sense of normalcy in their lives,” said Carin van der Hor of Plan International in a press conference held in late November 2013 shortly after Haiyan struck.

Sitting on Php1bn for six months: Budget Secretary Butch Abad
Sitting on Php1bn for six months: Budget Secretary Butch Abad
The Inquirer reported back in the 21st of May that the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) had submitted their funding request to the Department of Budget Management headed by Secretary Butch Abad in March 2014 following a damage report issued by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). Two months had gone by with no response from the DBM.

Nobody seems to know what caused the delay. Senator Pia Cayetano is reportedly furious and asked the same obvious question again just a week ago: “But what’s holding up its release, considering that the school year is just about to start?”

“I understand that plans and budget proposals for rehabilitation have to be reviewed. But summer has come and is almost gone, still we have yet to see the funds released to our SUCs,” she added, noting that Congress allocated more than P100 billion for the rehabilitation of the areas devastated by the twin calamities.

This is aside from a P14.6-billion supplemental budget.

“And yet, according to the DBM, only P32.2 billion had actually been released,” Cayetano noted.

Still, that question was asked just a week ago. One wonders, though, why no such questions were asked over the six months following the disaster. Yet Malacanang had yesterday issued a statement to the media saying that “all efforts had been made to ensure a smooth start to the school year, including the deployment of policemen to ensure students’ safety.” Empty words as usual.

[Photo courtesy Norwegian Capacity.]

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Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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13 Comments on "What caused the 6-month delay in the release of funding for repair of schools destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan?"

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joeld
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That is what idiot voters get for electing 50+ year old incompetent oaf, appointing clueless blithering idiots to key positions.

And the palace even has the gall to say that they were never slow in the typhoon rehab works. Guess who will believe that?

Amidst the drama about billion-peso scams, they cannot even show the country they are doing their work properly.

Shame on you, Mr. President! Yes you, together with your ilks and KKKKs. You should all just resign and stop sucking the blood out of every filipino. You are a worthless asshole!

Johnny Derp
Guest

I share the same sentiments especially against those who are too dense and too stupid to realize that they’re being gyped by this yellow propaganda driven sham of a government especially those who deny that they’re being paid to troll here yet their posts and actions say otherwise.

Kenneth
Guest

They are all busy on finding a link to press the blame on the previous administration. But they are taking to long to find an evidence, if there is one.

” Kasalanan ni Gloria ” – A bald monkey with hepatitis

Foreign aids are still not yet distributed because of the fiasco on who’s going to pay the import taxes. C’mon, import tax? Who on the right mind, taxes relief efforts?

And yet billions of help from foreign countries are still not yet accounted for. Maybe they have it stashed for the coming election.

Johnny Derp
Guest

I don’t think those yellowtards can still give a believable alibi over this government’s continuing failure to properly provide for those victims of yolanda especially when it’s also been discovered fairly recently that the dswd of dinky soliman has managed to let the relief goods to spoil.
No amount of propaganda can cover that up that glaring fact.

Johnny Derp
Guest

“Who in their right mind, taxes relief efforts?”

Definitely Kim Henares, the head of the BIR since she’s too damn greedy like her bald boss in malacanang

Gogs
Member

Never let a disaster manage a disaster. But that is what WE Pinoys voted for. Proud to be Pinoy !!!!

Jim DiGriz
Guest

Not only am I sick to my stomach that the local media again is sleeping on the job, but it seems the international media as well. The likes of CNN should expose the idiocy that is the current government and let the world know what a useless coconut is running this country. Just wait for the next disaster and lets see how willing to spend foreign countries will be then. Sometimes I wish there was a god, because then those fuckers would all die of syphilis and rot in hell.

Adam
Guest
The problem extents well beyond this administration. With that being said, the current administration is one of the worst in modern day human history. I know why it is taking such a long time for the rehab funds to get to the schools. P-noy has to make sure that the tax payers can afford Napales’ medical bills before releasing the rest of the funds. On a separate issue, I see a lot of people saying things like, “we get what we vote for.” I beg to differ. In today political sphere, voters vote for the lesser of two evils because… Read more »
Jim DiGriz
Guest

If you choose between a douche bag and a lesser douche bag and you go for the lesser one, you are still choosing a douche bag. I think that the violent reaction (everywhere) will come sooner than you might think. Within the next 10-15 years. Maybe earlier the way things are going. The sooner the better, before we all die because this planet is going down shit creek fast.

THOM HARDY
Guest

Tick Tock, ‘the hour’s gettin late,HEY!’.

Hyden Toro
Guest

The cause is they have to put money from the fund first in their pockets and Bank accounts. What is left on the fund, they use it for the purpose.

Maasive corruption and plundering are being done under the Aquino administration…they don’t even have shame on themselves.

They don’t care about the children, without school, books, etc…they only care about themselves.

Serge
Guest

Priorities, ‘Nuff said.

andres
Guest

One word: GREED.