Mayon may have yet to explode, but we are sensing a brewing controversy on how the disaster and relief operations are being stage-managed.
For the many times that Mt. Mayon threatened the livelihood and well-being of the people in its environs, there is always that factor of receipts from donors and disbursements by handling disaser lead agencies including the local goverments. And for those many occasions, there never was a public accounting, open to all interested and disinterested persons or entities, of how the “moneys” received were prudently spent and apportioned according to pressing needs. Until now.
Jumping the gun for proper accounting, not from within but from its neighboring province, Sorsogon first district Rep. Evelyn Escudero has demanded from the provincial government of Albay to give the House Special Committee on Bicol Recovery and Economic Development a “good accounting” of funds given to the province in the wake of Mayon 2014 evacuation.
It must be recalled that Albay governor Joey Salceda appealed for relief aid thru national television that it is best to give cash donations for the purpose. The main reasoning is that cash is the most flexible type of relief aid as during similar emergency situation, the business sector lose out for demands of necessities are dampened by the floods of relief goods coming in.
Now it it is the turn of the provincial government of Albay to show proof the update on its on-going cash relief acceptance in-take from private and government agencies.
On this querrie, Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (Apsemo) chief Cidric Daep said he has no knowledge of cash donations.
Rep. Rodel Batocabe of Ako Bicol Party-list and chair of the House special committee on Bicol, said Wednesday he has sent his formal letter asking the provincial government of the accounting of funds donated to Albay for the evacuation.