Media Release: Auckland Philippines Solidarity

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Call for transparency in NZ assistance to Philippines

As the Philippines struggle to rise from typhoon Koppu devastation, Filipino-Kiwi solidarity groups are hoping corruption won’t prolong the misery of the poor Filipinos trying to access aid, according to Auckland Philippines Solidarity.

On 12-17 October 2015, Auckland Philippines Solidarity (APS), Philippines Solidarity Network of Aotearoa and Wellington Kiwi-Pinoy hosted Dr. Efleda Bautista of People Surge, the typhoon Haiyan survivors’ alliance for a speaking tour, in which she described the corruption and neglect that hampered the Haiyan relief effort.

“The government’s ‘Build Back Better’ project, assisted big business to build back better but poor victims’ need for housing and livelihood assistance remain neglected. Almost two years on, many have not yet even received ‘Emergency Shelter Assistance,” said Efleda Bautista.

In Wellington, Bautista met with Members of Parliament (MPs), from the Green Party, Labour Party and NZ First, requesting them to investigate how NZ aid money was spent.

“The Philippine Commission on Audits reported millions of pesos in Haiyan relief donations to the Philippine government are sitting in banks. There have also been many reports of spoiled food packs and expired medicines in storage. This tells us the government sees no urgency in delivering much-needed aid for the people,” Bautista noted.

“The poor Filipinos devastated by Koppu and Haiyan, especially those in farming and fishing communities, need urgent livelihood assistance. We hope that increased scrutiny on how international aid is administered will remind the Philippine government of its duty to be accountable to the people,” said Cameron Walker, APS spokesperson.