MANILA, Philippines – Responding to calls for transparency in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), the government launched on Thursday, November 14, an online tracker of humanitarian aid given by foreign countries and organizations. The Foreign Aid Transparency Hub (FAiTH) is "an online portal of information on calamity aid and assistance
– both in cash and in kind – that are received by the Philippines from other countries, multilateral organizations, and those sent through Philippine embassies abroad." FAiTH will show comprehensive information on foreign humanitarian aid and donations to the Philippine government in response to disasters and calamities. The online portal can be accessed at www.gov.ph/faith. As of this posting, FAiTH reported that the Philippines has received a total of P9.11 billion worth of foreign aid, with P4.73 bilion in cash, P2.09 billion in non-cash donations, and P2.29 billion in pledges. It is the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) that acts as the main agency that coordinates foreign aid, and is the primary source of information for FAiTH.
Being the first point of contact with the international community, the DFA is the agency that is notified about pledges of international assistance. The Department of Budget and Management also clarified that government does not receive foreign aid in hard cash. "Instead, these arrive in the form of pledges, which are released to aid groups or their corresponding organizations in the Philippines," said Undersecretary and Chief Information Officer Richard Moya. (READ: DFA: Most int'l aid won't be passing through gov't) FAiTH tracks only foreign aid that is coursed through Philippine government agencies like the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Office of Civil Defense of the Department of National Defense (DND). It excludes aid given directly to other groups or organizations. The forms of aid and assistance reported by specific countries and the total amount given can also be found on the site. In the future, it will also show how aid coursed through government agencies was used. Transparency, accountability “There’s an urgent call now for us to monitor the movement of foreign aid funds for Yolanda so they will go exactly where they’re supposed to: to the survivors of the typhoon for whom recovery will be a long and arduous process, and to the communities that need to be rehabilitated as quickly and efficiently as possible," said Moya of the DBM.
The FAiTH monitoring team will be composed of representatives from the following agencies: DFA DBM DSWD Department of Finance (DOF) Commission on Audit (COA) National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Presidential Management Staff (PMS) Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) "We believe that other humanitarian organizations and civil society groups want the very same things that the Aquino administration is working for: greater transparency and accountability in the use of funds, especially those that are meant to bring relief and urgent assistance to the victims of calamities," Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said.