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Relief Aid Debacle


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contraman

I was having lunch today with a college and the subject of Overseas Aid came up

He is a Rotarian and was saying how relief goods destined for victims of Typhoon Yolanda where being held up in the Port of Cebu.

He wasn’t sure of all the facts and it was just in general conversation.

 

When I got home it was still in my head so I did a little research of my own and found this.

While on the face of it, there are faults on all sides, but Why can not commonsense come into play?

 

It’s as though they are all playing. “Mine Is Bigger Than Yours” game

Anyway, for what its worth, here it is.

 

 

Set free the relief goods

There’s no more time to lose in liberating 21 container vans of donations from Belgian citizens intended for typhoon Yolanda victims.

After arriving in the Port of Cebu port sometime in January, the cargo sits in the pier useless to the people who need them the most.

 

 

After the blunder of consigning the shipments to Rotary International, which has no accreditation by the Philippine government as a relief agency or charity to receive tax-free donations, well-meaning donors in that side of Europe would think twice about being so generous again.

They didn’t want to deal with the government in the first place, which is why they addressed the goods to the Rotary in Cebu City.

 

That reluctance is proof itself of the lowly trust placed by private citizens of Belgium in the Philippine bureaucracy. That mindset isn’t limited to this small wealthy kingdom.

Even overseas Filipinos in other countries hold back and prefer to send their donations home through private commercial couriers.

So imagine what they think of the Philippine government right now.

 

It’s water under the bridge to say the senders didn’t abide by donation rules in the Tariff and Customs Code and Department of Finance.

We can’t simply “return to sender” the container vans that are racking up daily costs of demurrage for staying behind the time allowed for unloading the cargo in the Cebu International Port.

 

Quiet negotiations were going on for months to break the impasse only to have Cebu businessman Philip Tan, district secretary of Rotary International District 3860, throw up his hands in March and name someone else, a Belgian living in Manila, to find a solution.

 

With so much time lost, no one wants to settle the bill anymore.

 A pity, because the contents of the vans may include perishable items like food. A simple solution would be for the Bureau of Customs to declare the entire cargo “abandoned”.

 

 Then the vans would be forfeited in favor of the government, and the DSWD would have to take charge of distributing the goods to storm victims in Ormoc and Tacloban City — which was the whole point in the first place.

 

Ideally, the distribution was to be done by private volunteers, which can still be done by special arrangement with the agency.

Shipping costs to Leyte could be covered by the Navy. Cebu Deputy Collector Paul Alcazaren said his office was reluctant to jump in and declare the 21 vans “abandoned”, opting to give the Belgian donors more time to fix the papers.

 

But that’s an unacceptable waste of more time during a calamity, in this case, seven months after  “Haiyan” disaster.

As long as relief goods reach the people who need them most in a timely and transparent manner, no one has to assign blame or continue to gripe about red tape. And while we’re trying to get the Belgian donations released, how many other container vans of humanitarian relief aid have gotten stuck in the Port of Cebu? –

 

See more at: http://cebudailynews.inquirer.net/2014/06/06/set-free-the-relief-goods/#sthash.9huuO0Iq.dpuf

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Jason S

Nothing in this country will ever change for the good until the people rise up and say enough is enough.

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Brucewayne

There have been reports that goods sent for this disaster have turned up on shelves in stores in Manila.

Maybe whomever sold those goods is hoping everyone forgets them and it could very well be that the goods have already been sold.

Trust no one!

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contraman

There have been reports that goods sent for this disaster have turned up on shelves in stores in Manila.

Maybe whomever sold those goods is hoping everyone forgets them and it could very well be that the goods have already been sold.

Trust no one!

That could be the reason that these are being "Held Up" may be they no longer exist.

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roadking

I remember seeing a report on TV Patrol, They bought some military { foreign } MRE's { meals ready to eat } in a market in Manila...

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MarinePride

This confirms why I don't offer aid, never have and never will.  Unless I personally put the items in the hands of the needy, how could I ever really know where it ended up?  I learned a long time ago that most charities are just scams that benefit the CEO's with six figure salaries, while the people who they claim to help just suffer.

 

Xmass came early for the gov't, in this case, most likely.

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Alan S

This is the sort of thing that discourages people from giving AID, and those in need are the ones that suffer,

 

It also makes the country look bad, but once again, those at the top dont care.

 

 

Sometimes I think the country is going backwards instead of making progress.

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maccydee

Just after the typhoon I watched on the news as I saw a British airways & RAF cargo planes being unloaded at Cebu airport & saw a few JCB back hoe diggers & land rovers being unloaded & my 1st thought was ouch some one is gonna make a lot of money selling them on. It's a sad way to think but in my experiences here I'm sure most will agree that's the most likely outcome.

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USCebuana

Cash is always the best donation when you trust the charity organization. Goods are sometimes not worth the cost to deliver them to the disaster area. I pick a good charity and give them a small donation like the IRC , Doctors Without Borders and Habitat.  I wish I could give more.

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stevensanph

Cash to a large charity is a terrible idea. Your just funding six figure CEO salaries and expat packages for those living in Ayala alabang. I saw one organisation advertising six figure USD salaries for multiple management positions in Samar following yolanda.

 

Give your money to local groups who go direct to the people. I work with a small group who collect donations then take them at their own expense to the poor and needy. No salaries. No logistic costs. No handing over to corrupt government groups.

 

Sent from my O+ 8.92 Android using Tapatalk

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Brucewayne

 

 

Give your money to local groups who go direct to the people. I work with a small group who collect donations then take them at their own expense to the poor and needy. No salaries. No logistic costs. No handing over to corrupt government groups.

 

But that would be....charity.

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contraman

Having done some work for a Major NGO, I can attest first hand what goes on.

It has discusted me so much I will no longer do anything for them again

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PeteHK

I'm sure at least some of this will come out in the international media when they return for a first anniversary visit to the affected areas.  For now, the story is not on the radar.  Little snippets have appeared from time to time about relief goods being diverted, very slow progress in resettlement and the ineffectiveness of the supposed coastal safety zone in places like Tacloban.  Like most posters I'm sceptical that anyone in authority in the country really cares and most have just been looking for the main chance to make a buck and/or to gain political kudos as the local dispensers (and controllers) of aid.  As for large NGOs - well in the case of most it's just another business isn't it?

 

Not much is likely to change but these failures will not be forgotten next time round and we may see 'Philippine fatigue' set in as donors elsewhere struggle to generate widespread public support in the form of donations.  The hype surrounding the performance of the Philippine economy may prove to be double-edged.  More may start to ask how it is that a country with one of the highest growth rates globally and certainly in Asia can't get its act together to help its own citizens in times of need and then doesn't even ensure the effective use of the aid it receives from abroad.

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contraman

I'm sure at least some of this will come out in the international media when they return for a first anniversary visit to the affected areas.  For now, the story is not on the radar.  Little snippets have appeared from time to time about relief goods being diverted, very slow progress in resettlement and the ineffectiveness of the supposed coastal safety zone in places like Tacloban.  Like most posters I'm sceptical that anyone in authority in the country really cares and most have just been looking for the main chance to make a buck and/or to gain political kudos as the local dispensers (and controllers) of aid.  As for large NGOs - well in the case of most it's just another business isn't it?

 

Not much is likely to change but these failures will not be forgotten next time round and we may see 'Philippine fatigue' set in as donors elsewhere struggle to generate widespread public support in the form of donations.  The hype surrounding the performance of the Philippine economy may prove to be double-edged.  More may start to ask how it is that a country with one of the highest growth rates globally and certainly in Asia can't get its act together to help its own citizens in times of need and then doesn't even ensure the effective use of the aid it receives from abroad.

Well Said  :thumbsup:

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