42 barangay execs facing raps over SAP anomalies – DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   May 21, 2020   •   575

MANILA, Philippines – There are now 42 barangay officials who are facing criminal complaints over the alleged irregularities in the distribution of government’s cash subsidy under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said on Thursday.

In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the figure is a huge jump from the 23 officials who were charged for SAP pay-out anomalies on May 17.

The complaints against these barangay officials were lodged by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) before the Prosecutor’s Office of the Department of Justice.

“Seryosohan po ito. Nalalapit na ang paghuhukom para sa mga tiwaling opisyales ng mga barangay. Hindi po titigil ang ating kapulisan hanggat hindi mapapanagot sa batas ang mga kagaya nila,” he said.

Año said “splitting” is among the top complaints leveled against erring barangay officials, in which they allegedly divide the SAP cash aid of one family to benefit other families.

“Malinaw ang batas at ang polisiya ng DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) na ang SAP cash aid ay para lamang sa pamilya ng nakalistang SAP beneficiary. Sapat lamang iyon para sa kanila at mahigpit na pinagbabawal ang paghahati-hati nito,” he said.

Aside from splitting, getting a cut from the SAP financial aid of beneficiaries also emerged as among the top complaints against some barangay officials.

“Sa panahon ng krisis, naisipan pa ng mga barangay officials na ito na kumuha ng commission o tara mula sa SAP beneficiaries. That is corruption at its finest. Hindi natin ito palalampasin,” said Año.

Cases for violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and RA 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act were filed by the PNP-CIDG against these barangay officials, the DILG chief said.

Año earlier ordered the PNP-CIDG to conduct a probe and case build-up against barangay officials. It also sought the help of the National Bureau of Investigation to look into the complaints.

Año recently transferred the investigation of graft and corrupt practices against Barangay Officials from the DILG field offices to the PNP-CIDG to expedite the investigation and the filing of criminal charges.

On the other hand, barangay officials facing complaints that are administrative in nature will still be issued show-cause orders by the DILG and investigated by DILG field units for filing in the Office of the Ombudsman.

According to DILG spokesperson and Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, the PNP-CIDG has processed complaints from a total of 374 complainants against some 155 suspects from April 1 to May 19, 2020.

He said majority of these suspects are barangay chairpersons and their associates.

There are also numerous complaints received against barangay councilors, barangay secretary or treasurer, municipal councilor, Barangay Health Workers (BHW), Purok Leaders/Home Owners Association (HOA) Presidents, Liaison Officer, DSWD Social Worker, SK Chairman, and Day Care Teacher.

DILG orders LGUs to submit liquidation reports on cash aid until May 28

Robie de Guzman   •   May 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday reminded the local government units (LGU) that they only have until May 28 to submit their liquidation reports on the distribution of the first tranche of government emergency subsidy under the social amelioration program (SAP).

In a statement, DILG spokesperson, Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said Interior Secretary Eduardo Año issued the directive as the government prepares to release the second tranche of the cash assistance.

“As per directive of Secretary Eduardo Año, kailangang tapusin na ng mga LGUs ngayon ang liquidation report nila ng first tranche at isubmit na nila ito pati na ang encoded list of beneficiaries sa DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development),” Malaya said.

“Only then can we proceed with the 2nd tranche,” he added.

The DSWD earlier called on LGUs to expedite the encoding and transmittal of their liquidation reports as these would be used for the validation of beneficiaries and checking of the disbursement for the release of SAP’s second tranche.

The SAP is part of the government’s efforts to assist families heavily affected by the community quarantines due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The DSWD said the validation and vetting process by its field offices can only be done when the data per LGU have been submitted in its entirety.

The department noted that the process will take approximately 15 days since validation on municipal, provincial, and regional levels takes place at the field office levels.

Based on reports from the DSWD, the DILG said only 472 out of the 1,634 LGUs nationwide have so far submitted their liquidation reports to that agency as of May 26, 2020.

Malaya said that he hopes that the payout of the 2nd tranche of SAP cash aid would be more efficient and systematic considering that LGUs must have already learned lessons and ironed out the kinks and lapses during the first payout.

“We recognize the huge difficulties encountered by LGUs in the SAP distribution of the first tranche. It is quite understandable because this is the biggest financial cash aid for poor families in the country’s history,” he said.

“Pero ngayon inaasahan namin na mas magiging mabilis na ang proseso dahil pinagdaanan na nila ito at alam na nila ngayon kung paano mas magiging maayos at sistematiko ang pamamahagi ng SAP,” he said.

Malaya also said that the Philippine National Police (PNP) will assist the DSWD and the LGUs during the distribution of the 2nd tranche in geographically-isolated and disadvantaged areas of the country. 

“Nakahanda naman po ang ating kapulisan para alalayan ang DSWD at mga LGUs sa pamimigay ng ayuda sa mga malalayo at ilang lugar sa ating bansa para masiguro na matatanggap ito ng ating mga kababayan,” he said.

The DILG official also said that LGUs are likewise asked to accept returns of SAP cash aid by beneficiaries who received similar benefits from other government agencies such as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), Department of Labor and Employment’s COVID-19 Adjustment Measures program, and Social Security System’s Small Business Wage Subsidy program.

He said that by returning their SAP aid, these beneficiaries ensure that other families who are also in need of assistance will be given the emergency subsidy.

“Every unreturned amount means that a similar family in need is deprived of cash aid,” he said.

Malaya said that all returned cash subsidies may be given by LGUs to “left-out” families within their jurisdiction prior to liquidation, provided they are qualified to receive the SAP based on DSWD guidelines.

For cash aid returned by beneficiaries after the liquidation by LGUs, Malaya said this shall be remitted to DSWD field offices.  “An official receipt must be issued to the beneficiaries as proof of refund,” he said.

Stranded individuals at returning OFWs lang ang obligadong kumuha ng travel pass – DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   May 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Mga locally-stranded individual at returning overseas Filipino worker (OFW) lamang ang kinaikailangang kumuha ng travel authority mula sa Philippine National Police upang makauwi sa kani-kanilang probinsiya, ayon sa Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Ginawa ni DILG Secretary Eduardo Año ang paglilinaw matapos bahain ng mga tanong ang 24/7 Emergency Operations Center at social media account ng ahensiya tungkol sa pagkuha ng travel passes sa gitna ng pagbabalik-operasyon ng maraming industriya at negosyo.

Sa isang pahayag ngayong Huwebes, binigyang-diin ni Año na company identification card at iba pang dokumento lamang ang kailangang ipakita ng mga empleyadong nagbabalik-trabaho upang makalusot sa quarantine control points (QCP) ng Philippine National Police (PNP).

“Hindi na nila (empleyadong nagbabalik-trabaho) kailangan ng travel authority. Sapat na na ipakita nila ang kanilang company ID o certificate of employment sa mga QCPs bilang patunay na sila ay Authorized Person Outside of Residence (APOR),” sabi ni Año. 

Sinabi rin ng kalihim na nakikipag-ugnayan na ang DILG sa mga lokal na pamahalaan upang linawin ang patakaran sa pagkuha ng travel pass matapos mapaulat ang pagpila ng dalawang araw ng mga residente sa Rodriguez, Rizal na namamasukan sa Metro Manila para lang makakuha ng travel authority.

“Kung kayo ay papasok sa trabaho, ipakita ninyo lang ang inyong company IDs o anumang dokumento na nagpapatunay na kayo ay nagtratrabaho sa isang industriyang pinapahintulutan ng IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) na mag-operate,” ani Año.

Pagtitiyak ng kalihim, may hawak na listahan ng mga industriyang ito ang mga security personnel na naka-duty sa checkpoints.

Kabilang sa mga industriyang pinayagang mag-operate sa ilalim ng modified enhanced community quarantine at general community quarantine ay ang food and agriculture, manufacturing, utilities, banks at money-transfer.

Pinag-aaralan pa ng pamahalaan kung papayagan na ring magbukas ang barber shops at beauty salon pati na ang dine-in services sa mga restaurant.

Ayon naman sa tagapagsalita ng DILG na si Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, sa local police stations pino-proseso ang aplikasyon ng travel authority habang sa city o municipal health office naman dapat kunin ang medical clearance.

“Dahil sa direktiba ni Secretary Ano, ang PNP ay naglagay ng helps desks sa lahat ng police station sa buong bansa upang tulungan ang mga stranded individuals. Kailangan ninyo lang isubmit ang inyong medical clearance mula sa mga city/ municipal health office bilang supporting documents,” ani Malaya.

Nilinaw din ng opisyal na lahat ng OFW na nag-negatibo sa COVID-19 test at may hawak na kopya ng test results ay hindi na kailangan pang dumaan sa quarantine ng LGU kapag nakarating na sa kani-kanilang destinasyon.

“Iyon lamang mga OFW na kulang ang dokumento ang dapat ma-quarantine habang naghihintay ng resulta. Pero ang mga resulta ay on-line na kaya’t dapat ay wala ng problema,” sabi ni Malaya.

Siniguro din ng DILG na ang lahat ng stranded individuals ay makakapasok sa kanilang mga lugar hangga’t mayroon silang mga kaukulang dokumento na pinanghahawakan.

DSWD calls on LGUs to speed up liquidation report for release of SAP second tranche

Robie de Guzman   •   May 27, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Wednesday urged local government units (LGU) to expedite the encoding and transmittal of their liquidation reports on the distribution of the first tranche of the government’s social amelioration project (SAP).

The DSWD said the liquidation reports from LGUs are necessary as this would be used for the validation of beneficiaries and checking of the disbursement for the release of SAP’s second tranche.

The SAP is part of the government’s efforts to assist families heavily affected by the community quarantines due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“The liquidation report is vital in the process of validation as it includes the report of the disbursement (containing the photos of the recipients, Social Amelioration Card Forms, and amount of cash received); Report of Checks Issued and Report of Disbursements certified by the LGU accountant and approved by the Local Chief Executive; and a copy of the Official Receipt for the refund/return of unutilized SAP funds,” the department said in a statement.

The DSWD explained that the validation and vetting process by its field offices can only be done when the data per LGU have been submitted in its entirety.

The department noted that the process will take approximately 15 days since validation on municipal, provincial, and regional levels takes place at the field office levels.

The DSWD Central Office will then conduct cross-matching with other government agencies’ lists of beneficiaries to avoid duplicity and ineligibility. The process will take another seven days in order to ensure that the recipients are indeed among the SAP’s target beneficiaries.

“The DSWD is exhausting all means to shorten the vetting and validation process, however, we need the full cooperation of the LGUs in order to effect this,” it said.

The department said that of the 1,479 LGUs that have completed the first tranche of SAP, only 659 had submitted liquidation reports as of Wednesday.

The DSWD earlier said it is still awaiting guidelines from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases for the distribution of the second tranche.

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