It’s the call of the COA now
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
Several members of Congress have appealed to the Commission on Audit to ease up on its stringent requirement of pre-auditing even the relief goods and donations for the victims of the two recent calamities that have hit the Visayas, especially the Central areas, like Samar and Leyte.
It had been noted that, oftentimes, the goods sent to those areas, supposedly for distribution to the victims, rendered both homeless and foodless by the devastating supertyphoon Yolanda, and, earlier, the 7.2 Magnitude earthquake that also wrought severe damage and destruction and death, do not get to the intended beneficiaries quickly enough to be of help to them.
This was because, the COA, also sticking to its own rules, reportedly insists on pre-auditing all the donations and relief goods coming in before they could be released to the victims.
We all know how terribly the typhoon as well as the earthquake had affected the lives of the people in those areas. In fact, even people from other countries all over the world were so shocked and affected by the sights of the areas swept away, or broken down by those two calamities, that it seems they could not do enough to show their concern by sending all kinds of help over.
But COA regulations are perceived to be delaying what should be the swift release of the assistance. This, it reportedly does by checking and listing up all the donors, as well as the beneficiaries, in its usual way of trying to keep track of all government expenditures and use of facilities.
But these are emergency situations, where speed and immediacy are necessary, if not to assuage the hunger, thirst and ailments of those affected, at least to boost their morale a little, knowing that they are being aided, and their needs met.
There is, indeed, good sense in the appeal of the lawmakers. They may be suspected of trying to gain points for their move but this is one time when it is not only justice delayed that it is as bad as justice denied, but one in which help withheld is also help denied.*