Vice President Leni Robredo told mayors of towns in the Bicol region hit hard by Typhoon Nina that they can go directly to foreign aid agencies to ask for help in the absence of a request by the national government for foreign assistance on behalf of local governments in the region.
Without additional funds from foreign aid sources, Robredo said funds for rehabilitation either from local government coffers or private donors would be insufficient.
Robredo said she was told that UNDP and EU agencies are open to requests for assistance coming directly from local government units.
Once again, in her desperate attempt to boost her sagging trust rating among the Filipino people, the Vice President has resorted to posturing without regard to experience and reality.
How soon can Robredo forget what happened in the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda?
Billions in foreign aid from both government and private sources poured in to help in the relief and rehabilitation of victims of the 2013 calamity which devastated a huge area of Central Philippines.
However, the Philippine government lost its credibility when report after report indicated that funds were being misused or remained unused months and years after the calamity. Foreign aid funds were left unaccounted for. Relief goods were left to rot without reaching their intended recipients. Housing projects proceeded in the slowest of pace or turned out to be uninhabitable.
So now, Robredo wants to project herself as the”heroine” of typhoon Nina victims and local governments by encouraging them to seek foreign aid directly?
She is not only undermining the capability of the Philippine national government in trying to be self-sufficient in relief and rehabilitation efforts for its needing citizens. She is also subjecting the country to being a laughing stock after that unfortunate experience of foreign donors, which by the way, happened under the watch of her own Liberal Party, headed by the President who endorsed her VP candidacy and the Cabinet Official who was her presidential running mate.
And may Politikal Pinoy remind you, Madam, of what you yourself said to the news media just months ago? That only one percent of houses for Yolanda victims have been completed?
Granting that local governments are able to seek foreign aid directly, will Robredo be the guarantor that such assistance will be used as intended and not diverted to projects that have nothing to do with relief and rehabilitation?
That’s an enormous job, Madam VP, considering what you yourself said that your only job is “to wait for something to happen to the president.”