CEBU CITY, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – The “throw-away culture” has been prevalent among Filipinos even during disasters, according to Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle.
After the supertyphoon Yoland (Haiyan) hit the Philippines two years ago, Tagle recalls how someone donated a wedding gown to the relief efforts.
Yolanda was the strongest typhoon recorded to hit land, which claimed more than 6,000 lives and displaced hundreds of thousands of Filipinos in Central Visayas.
“Imagine, during the time of Haiyan or Yolanda, as we were unpacking some of the donations, there was a wedding gown. Who would use a wedding gown? They were just throwing unused clothes to the poor,” he said.
Apparently, it wasn’t just a wedding gown that was donated to the typhoon victims.
The Adobo Chronicles just learned that the evening gown worn by Miss Philippines MJ Lastimosa at a previous Miss Universe pageant was also donated.
Lastimosa’s gown resembled a giant wedding cake and many believed that the Colombian-designed gown cost her the crown.
Manila, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – Some 1.58 Billion pesos in typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) relief funds remained unspent in the hands of several Philippine government agencies, according to a report by the country’s Commission on Audit.
The funds were part of donations given by governments and private individuals and groups to help victims of the worst typhoon ever to make landfall in the Philippines. Haiyan’s first year anniversary is coming up. To this day, many typhoon victims remain homeless, without jobs or still waiting for financial aid and support services.
In defending government agencies like the Departments of Social Welfare and Development, Health, Interior and Local Govenrments, Public Highways, and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the Office of the President said that at the time of the audit, the government was waiting to first spend the calamity funds under the General Appropriations before it touched the privately-donated relief funds.
In addition to the donated funds, an investigation is ongoing regarding millions of pesos worth of food and other relief goods that were spoiled and never reached the typhoon victims.
In ‘off-the-record’ conversations between presidential spokesman Herminio Coloma and Malacañang (presidential palace) reporters, he admitted that the heads of government agencies concerned innocently thought the donations were ‘reserve’ funds, not relief funds. “They were savng them for a rainy day,” he said. Or perhaps, the next typhoon.