A newspaper for migrants in New Zealand encouraged Filipinos to donate to a fund for victims of super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in the Philippines. However, Filipino Migrant News made a list of preferred agencies that excluded government institutions.

"I'm not going to mince words ... We would like to every cent to reach those poor people there rather than getting waylaid," National Post quoted Mel Fernandez, editorial adviser of the Filipino Migrant News.


His statement reflects the common fear, both among locals and international donors, that corrupt Filipino officials who are aplenty would only pocket the donations from overseas. This perception is fueled by recent events prior to Yolanda wherein several senators and congressmen were linked to the pork barrel fund scam initiated by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.

Even the UN had instructed soldiers to watch the donations from the international community to ensure that it is not filched by Filipino politicians.

The news came amid reports that officials are even placing their names and logos on relief packages, causing the delay in the delivery of the relief goods.

To address fears of donor-nations that the money that poured in would not end in the pockets of corrupt politicians, the Philippine government created a Web site that would have full transparency in reporting how the donations were spent in Haiyan-devastated areas. The portal would be called Foreign Aid Transparency Hub.

Over $270 million has been donated for victims of the typhoon which has flattened parts of central Philippines and caused the loss of almost 4,000 lives even as the death count rises. Another 1,600 are mission and over 4 million have been displaced. Bloomberg estimates cost of economic impact at $14 billion, but only a fraction is covered by insurance.