Now with over 50,000 NGO’s operating in the Philippines (data as of 1995 the numbers have increased) why is it we see very little progress of things drastically improving? They’ve had the money and the time so why have things shown slow or little results?
I think it mainly comes down to pre-planning visits in many cases as anyone visiting the Philippines knows even pre-planning a holiday vacation here doesn’t always give the results you want due to weather and other issues such as price fluctuations. So is this happening for NGOs?
When I looked at Haiti and the fact NGOs are operating there as well as large scale operations going on why is it people are sitting waiting for food aid rather than rebuilding. Answer being they aren’t receiving the right type of assistance, people talk of environmental changes to the planet but nobody ever talks about the loss of 80% of the forestation on Haiti and the fact its not being replanted. People talk of the flooded areas that remain flooded waiting for water to disappear year nobody talks about utilising the water an example of someone with vision is here in Bangladesh where seawater polluted the fields not only a solution but a profitable one. Haiti also imports its rice cheaper from the U.S. than its farmers can produce yet at the same time we are giving away food when we could actually do something to balance the books to help the farming industry?
Now the issues differ in many cases in the Philippines but the problems seem to remain the same the first one being not asking the people needing help what they need to help themselves. Most things are thought out before people arrive here to carry out their projects yet I find very few people have taken the time out to develop things with the locals before they unleashed money.
Now I do believe there are many western things and people that can help change things but it has to be a two way street often NGOs because of the way some of the projects work the local government treats them like employees rather than project partners. The setup just seems very odd as in many cases the government officials want to be involved to stick their face all over it. You don’t have to look far in any town in the Philippines to see “by the work of” or “by the efforts of” on everything from dustbin trucks to bridges even though its actually government funding not personal cash injections by the people involved. NGOs are supposed to be completely “Non Government” so why are they getting dragged into it? there are 50,000+ of them operating here and this study of NGOs was written in 1999 on the Philippines it doesn’t show a glowing picture of productivity and development. If anything I wonder how much money has been spent since 1999 from overseas aid and donations into the country compared to the achievements.
With the current Western financial crisis looking to stay it may be time that Western governments start to rethink where they invest money and maybe the fact when I tell people I don’t give money to charities because of corruption they instead of looking at me as being thrifty take a look at where their cash goes themselves.