Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago condemned the unscrupulous acts of entities involved in the alleged overpricing of bunkhouses meant as temporary shelters for the victims of supertyphoon Yolanda (international codename: Haiyan).
The senator filed Senate Resolution No. 436 yesterday seeking for a Senate investigation following reports that some 203 bunkhouses being developed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Leyte and Eastern Samar allegedly do not comply with internationally recognized standards and best practices.
“This controversy multiplies the suffering of our countrymen in the typhoon-affected areas, as they faced devastation from a natural disaster and the evils of corruption,” she said.
Santiago called for the inquiry to also investigate the potential overpricing and other unscrupulous acts concerning disaster relief operations.
“The national government owes local and international typhoon relief donors transparency and accountability, and therefore must ensure that the typhoon victims should receive relief by observing internationally recognized standards and best practices,” she said.
Santiago previously filed another resolution seeking to establish protocols and standards for disaster relief operations by local government units in cooperation with nongovernment organizations. She filed Senate Resolution No. 363 as response to reports that relief operations for the victims of the Visayas earthquake last October have been hampered by alleged politicking by local government officials and political aspirants.
“The natural disasters last year and the PDAF scandal exposé are undeniable wake-up calls for the nation to step up government efficiency, transparency, and accountability. Relevant laws such as the Government Procurement Reform Act should be amended based on the national experience with these tragedies,” Santiago said.