Where do all those donations go?
The record shows that donations as of February 8, 2012 totaled P63,297.82 thanks to generous individuals, LGUs, private companies, organizations, and communities. Add to this the pledges of Speaker Sonny Belmonte, Mayor Fred Lim, and the National Government’s 50M aid, we have a grand total of P116,297,485.82. But even at this time, donations still keep pouring in from concerned parties.
Calamities and emergency situations like the one we just had with the typhoon Sendong call for the immediate provision of the very basic needs of man which is food, clothing and shelter.
Relief goods flooded the evacuation centers and all areas where the flood victims were billeted. These consist mostly of food, clothing, and tents. This, thus, effectively covered the basic needs of food and clothing… and temporary shelter.
Even now, should you want to check it out, you will find that every flood victim has quite an accumulation of food and clothing, to last them a long while, stashed in their tents and temporary shelters. For this, we have both local and foreign organizations, companies, and individuals to thank for. And more are still pouring in presently.
This leaves us with the other basic need that is not that easy to address. Permanent Shelter. Considering the number of victims, the provision of permanent shelter requires a really huge amount of money. Firstly, it requires the acquisition of large tracts of land. Then follows the study, design, planning, and construction of the permanent houses.
Although some organizations, such as the Filipino-Chinese Community and Lucio Tan’s group, have pledged to provide the materials for, say, 600 houses, which is not really enough considering the number of victims, no one has ever donated the primary requisite for housing – land.
Here then is where your donations go. Land, land preparation, and housing. Thanks to the foresight of our previous administrations through the idea of land banking, we have land to start with (something some other cities similarly hit didn’t have) in Calaanan which now came in handy at this time when it is needed the most.
As earlier mentioned, the houses pledged by some organizations are simply not enough to shelter all the bona fide beneficiaries. The city government has thus undertaken to allocate a major part, if not all, of the donations to providing permanent shelter to the victims.
Presently, the building of 1000 houses is in full swing. Hopefully, in 3 month’s time, most if not all of these houses shall be completed and be occupied by our fellow citizens who are enduring the inconvenience of having to live in tent houses for the time being.
City Mayor Vicente “Dongkoy” Y. Emano has personally allotted much of his time in monitoring every phase of the construction in the relocation sites because at this time, this is his top priority.
Every cent of all donations received is accounted for. In fact, large tarpaulins are displayed at the front of the City Hall premises reflecting the names of donors and their donations. And every now and then, more tarpaulins are added as donors continue to come. The outflow of the money is also being recorded cent-for-cent and summaries of these shall, in the spirit of transparency, be published for everyone to see.