Politikal Pinoy, in a recent post, criticized VP Leni Robredo for her statement practically encouraging local governments in the Bicol region to seek financial aid directly from foreign sources like UNDP and EU to help with relief and rehabilitation efforts on behalf of those affected by Typhoon Nina.
Robredo all but suggested that local governments bypass the national government which has so far refrained from seeking foreign assistance because it felt that the country had the capacity and resources to deal with the calamity efforts independent of outside help.
In that post, we reminded the Vice President of the not-so-favorable record of both national and local government units — during the time of her colleagues in the Aquino administration — in managing foreign donations as well as relief and rehabilitation efforts for victims of Typhoon Yolanda.
Now, a newly-released report from the Commission on Audit (COA) concluded that Local government units (LGUs) and the Department of National Defense (DND) were the biggest violators of rules on the use of disaster relief funds in 2015.
According to state auditors, 22 LGUs failed to allocate at least P124.95-million funds for the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (LDRRMF).
The COA said LGUs failed to conform with Section 21 of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Act of 2010, which requires that 5 percent of revenue be set aside for disaster preparedness and mitigation.
In effect, the COA report puts to shame Robredo’s assertion that LGU’s can seek foreign aid directly because it casts serious doubt on the ability of government units to effectively and transparently manage foreign aid, should any be provided by international governments and agencies.