DSWD recants: We need aid after all

SOCIAL Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said Monday the government was not closing its doors to foreign aid after her Facebook post denouncing the need for receiving aid from other countries went viral.

“I would like to apologize if my comment sounded like we no longer need foreign aid,” Taguiwalo told reporters. 

“We were able to address the needs of the victims before and during [the typhoons] “Karen” and “Lawin.” We were able to help them immediately. 

HARDEST HIT. PhilHealth employees repack bags of sugar for distribution to affected families of powerful Typhoon ‘Lawin’ in Tuguegarao City Sunday, only hours after President Duterte visited typhoon victims there and led the distribution of relief in the province, now under a state of calamity, before he went to Ilagan in nearby Isabela. Presidential Photo

“We welcome foreign aid based on our needs and it should come without any condition. We are thankful to our friends, the individuals, organizations and other countries which are willing to help.”

Taguiwalo made her statement even as the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council appealed to critics to spare it from politics. 

“Please spare the NDRRMC from politics because it has no place in disaster and humanitarian efforts,” agency spokeswoman Mina Marasigan told reporters. 

“During times of calamities such as typhoons we’re all losers.”

Marasigan issued her statement following persisting questions on how it and the government deal with foreign donors such as the United States, the United Nations and the European Union in view of President Rodrigo Duterte’s animosity to them in connection with their criticism of his war on drugs. 

Taguiwalo said the government still welcomed donations from other countries and organizations.

In her post on Monday, Taguiwalo said the government was not soliciting international aid because it had enough funds to address the needs of the affected families, adding her agency would be “color-blind” when it came to helping the needy and poor as instructed by President Rodrigo Duterte.

“To our beloved countrymen, just a few explanation: we are not asking for foreign assistance or donations from other countries for [the victims of] “Karen” or “Lawin” because we saw that the government and its agencies have sufficient funds to address the needs of the affected families,” Taguiwalo said. 

“We should not be too dependent on foreign agencies if we could stand on our own feet. If we unite, we could do it.” 

Topics: Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo , DSWD , foreign aid , National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council
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