For the benefit of non-Filipino donors, what follows below is my own translation of the latest directives of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo regarding the Typhoon Ondoy (International Code Name: Ketsana) disaster.
The most important thing to take note of: Donations must be addressed to or coursed through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) so that they will not be taxed or confiscated.
PGMA’s Latest Directives
Bahay Pangarap, Malacañang Park
29 September 2009
My fellow Filipinos, thank you very much for your generosity and good will toward the victims of Typhoon Ondoy.
In order to ensure the continuous and orderly flow of aid to those in need, please be informed that your government is taking the following steps:
First, a price control task force has been set up to prevent and penalize the overpricing of medicines. This exploitative practice is strictly prohibited.
Second, those involved in anomalous or fraudulent transactions for donations coursed through banks will be caught and punished.
Third, donations of food and other goods from abroad will not be taxed or confiscated by the Bureau of Customs, provided these are consigned to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Fourth, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has instructed all embassies and consulates to expedite the processing of documents required for donations coming from abroad, provided these are consigned to the DSWD.
Fifth, remittance service providers are requested to waive transaction fees for cash donations that are coursed to the DSWD through them.
It is only fitting that the government facilitate the delivery of aid to those in need, as well as ensure that they suffer no further. Anyone who seeks to impede such actions will be subject to severe punishment, including imprisonment.
Thank you once again to all who are helping.
An alternative translation may be found on Filipino Voices.