Executive Secretary of the Caritas Philippines Father Edu Gariguez questioned the timing of the release of “Yolanda” funds amounting to P24.7 Billion by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), which came during the election period.
Recently, DBM announced the released of the budget funds for the rehabilitation of Eastern Visayas, the region which was largely affected by the super typhoon Yolanda also known as Typhooon Haiyan in 2013.
In an interview over radio station Radyo Veritas which was posted online, Father Gariguez raised his concern that the money might be used by candidates for their political ambitions. He also criticized the Aquino administration for postponing the release of budget during the calamity, and releasing it only during campaign period.
“Mabuti kasi maraming pera pero iyon ang timing na aming sinasabi. Kailangan ba mag-eleksyon para ilabas ang pera?,” he said.
“Ang nakakalungkot pa kung magamit ng mga pulitiko itong pondo na nakalaan para sa mga nangangailangan, hindi maganda,” he added.
Gariguez pointed out that the budget should be released immediately to provide assistance for the victims whether it is election time or not, noting that there is already an adequate and available amount of funds.
Gariguez was also the one who criticized Mar Roxas over controversial comics depicting him as a hero during the calamity. He said that the comic was as “hypocritical claim” of the Liberal Party’s standard bearer.
However, Father Gariguez clarified that he and the Caritas PH is not against any of the candidate. They only want the truth and they do not allow politicians to use the Yolanda funds for their campaign.
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