After getting rap, gov?t now upgrading portal for foreign donations

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The Aquino administration said on Thursday, March 20, that it is now upgrading the Foreign Aid Transparency Hub (FAiTH), a government portal established to track donations from foreign countries intended for typhoon “Yolanda” rehabilitation.

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Earlier, an organization of IT professionals criticized the website as a failed project as it was hard to use and did not contain updated information.

In a press briefing at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the government wants to update the website to easily track the donations being given by foreign donors and also know the recipients of the assistance.

The government wants everything to be transparent with regard to help coming from donors abroad, Lacierda said.

The government not only tracks foreign assistance but also ensures accountability on how the money has been converted to and what entities receive the support, he said.

?It calls for transparent accountability on our part which we are committed to do. It now calls for accountability on the part of other aid organizations. All for the purpose of informing a number of audiences here, we want to make sure that foreign governments? that their donations are fairly reported,? Lacierda said.

?We also want to make sure that the people are informed where the donations are going,? he added.

The Commission on Audit (COA) is also a part of FAiTH, and will be auditing donations being extended to the government, the Palace official said.

The government launched FAiTH in November last year following the outpouring of international aid for the Philippines in the wake of super typhoon “Yolanda.”

FAiTH is a Web-based initiative that will allow the public to monitor the status of foreign assistance to the country in response to disasters and calamities.

It is an online portal of information on calamity aid and assistance ? both in cash and in kind ? received by the Philippines from other countries, multilateral organizations, and also those sent through Philippine embassies abroad.

The initiative is the first of its kind in the Philippine government, which previously did not have a system for tracking the use of disaster-relief funds donated by other countries and aid organizations. — PNA

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