DILG tells LGUs to submit names of families ‘left out’ in SAP 1st tranche

Robie de Guzman   •   May 19, 2020   •   810

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has directed local government units (LGU) to identify and submit the names of households that were ‘left out’ in the distribution of the first tranche of the cash assistance under the government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

In a statement on Tuesday, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año assured these families will be included in the program as long as they are qualified in the guidelines set by the government.

Año said LGUs are given until May 21 to submit the initial list as stated in the memorandum circular he issued to all local chief executives.

“Wag po kayong mag-alala, tutulungan po kayo ng ating pamahalaan. We are giving the LGUs three days to submit their initial list to us in DILG and to the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) which in turn will validate that list,” he said.

The DILG chief said that these households are estimated to be around five million based on the report of the DSWD.

Año said these households are not recipients of any Conditional Cash Transfer program  and not included in the initial 18 million households who benefited in the 1st tranche of SAP financial assistance.

“Nakita natin na despite the initial 18 million SAP beneficiaries, marami pa rin sa ating mga kababayan ang nangangailangan ng tulong. These left-out households, around five million of them, will be assisted kaya nakapahalaga na mabuo ng mga LGU ang listahan na ito sa lalong madaling panahon,” he said.

Año said the initial list will be prepared by the barangays regardless of the length of stay in the locality and voter’s registration of the members of the household. It must also be posted in conspicuous places in the community and on its social media platforms for public viewing and access.

In the Memo Circular, the DILG chief clarified that the said list “shall in no way be construed as the final list of beneficiaries which shall still be subject to further validation by the DSWD.”

“Muli, barangay ang makakatuwang natin dito sa pagbuo ng listahan na ito. Binabalaan ko muli ang ating mga barangay officials na hindi namin sasantuhin ang mga mandaraya rito at maging sa pamimigay ng 2nd tranche ng SAP,” he warned.

Those with complaints about the initial list of the barangay may appeal their case with the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office or with the mayor himself.

“If no action is taken, the complainant may raise his concern with the DSWD,” the DILG secretary said.

The DILG has recently reported that 23 barangay officials involved in graft and corrupt practices in the distribution of SAP assistance are now facing criminal charges.

DILG orders CIDG to probe group behind ‘flatten the fear’ event

Robie de Guzman   •   September 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has directed the Philippine National Police-Crime Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) to look into the “flatten the fear” event allegedly held by a group seeking an end to all community quarantine restrictions in the country amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement on Wednesday, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año ordered the CIDG to probe the group’s reported violation of prohibition on mass gathering, physical distancing and other minimum health protocols.

“Inutusan na po natin ang PNP-CIDG para masusing imbestigahan ang naturang mass gathering kung dapat ba silang managot sa kanilang paglabag sa mga alintuntunin sa panahon ng pandemya,” Año said.

“Maaaring gusto lamang ng grupong ito na makatulong sa pamahalaan para tuluyang masugpo ang pandemya, subalit ang kanilang idinaos na mass gathering at tahasang hindi pagsuot ng face mask ay lubhang delikado hindi lamang para sa kanila kundi pati na rin sa kani-kanilang mga pamilya,” he added.

Año said the investigation is upon the request of the Department of Health.

He said the members of the Concerned Doctors and Citizens of the Philippines recently held a mass gathering dubbed as Flatten the Fear campaign where many of its participants purposely did not wear face mask because according to them, they do not need to do so as they are already on prophylaxis and preventive treatment of COVID-19.

The DILG chief said that the group’s call to end all restrictions at this critical time sends a wrong message to the public and undermines months of hard work by health authorities to flatten the curve and defeat the coronavirus disease.

He added that the group should have discussed first with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) its recommendations instead of holding a mass gathering as “this move undermines the work that has been done for many months by our frontliners.”

“We wish to remind them that we are not out of the woods yet and that community transmission is on-going. While we have been able to lower our cases, we cannot be complacent and let down our guard since an outbreak may suddenly occur as what we have seen in many countries all over the world,” he said.

“Kapag tuluyan nating tinanggal ang Community Quarantine na hindi pa natin lubos na napapababa ang mga kaso, maaaring magkaroon ng biglang pagdami ng kaso at magugulat na lang tayo sa biglang dami ng pasyente na ating aasikasuhin,” he added.

The Philippines has so far recorded a total of 291,789 COVID-19 infections, 56,097 of which are active cases.

DILG warns LGUs, public against individuals posing as DILG officials

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 21, 2020

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) warned the public and local government units (LGUs) against individuals posing as DILG officials.

In a statement, the department said these “impostors” are soliciting favors or extorting money from LGUs. DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said they have been receiving numerous reports from local chief executives about receiving calls or texts from said ‘DILG impostors’ offering to send aid but will ask for funds in the end.

“In one instance, the mayor was told that the DILG will donate 2,800 cavans of rice to his constituents but in return, the mayor has to send P20,000 via money remittance allegedly for transportation costs,” he said. “In another instance, the mayor was told that he will be helped in his pending cases provided that funds will be transferred to an account of their choosing,” he added.

Malaya advised to always check and consult their provincial DILG office to confirm the identities of those contacting them. He also said they have alerted the Philippine National Police-Criminal Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) in hopes of apprehending the impostors.

“This is a clear case of estafa punishable under the Revised Penal Code, thus we have requested the Philippine National Police to track down those persons responsible,“ he said. AAC

DILG lauds police move for online reporting of quarantine violators

Robie de Guzman   •   September 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday commended the move of police Joint Task Force Coronavirus (JTF COVID) Shield to monitor and urge the public to report violations of quarantine protocols through its social media accounts.

In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the move “encourages citizen through social medial platforms” and “appeals to all civic-minded young people who are concerned about the health and welfare of all Filipinos.”

“Now that we have flattened the COVID-19 curve, all the more should we be more careful and vigilant so as to contain and further reduce the active cases. Habang hinihintay natin ang pagdating ng bakuna, mas lalo nating pag-ibayuhin ang pag-iingat and enforcement of minimum health standards,” Año said.

The PNP’s JTF COVID Shield earlier ordered all police stations and units to monitor social media platforms for possible quarantine violations.

JTF COVID Shield Commander Gen. Guillermo Eleazar also called on the public to tag the task force’s Facebook page when they see photos and reports online of quarantine violations.

Among the most common quarantine violations flaunted on social media are mass gathering and celebrations, drinking session, non-observance of physical distancing, non-wearing of face masks, and pillion riding on motorcycles of unauthorized individuals.

Some groups have claimed that the measure will violate the right to privacy of people but the DILG belied this, stressing that there is no violation when it is the individual himself that posted it online.

“We cannot afford protection to persons if they themselves did nothing to place the matter within the confines of their private zone,” DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said.

Citing the Supreme Court ruling in Vivares vs St Theresa’s College wherein some students who posted nearly nude photos on social media were not allowed to join their batch’s graduation ceremony, Malaya said that there is no violation of the right to privacy when it is the person himself who posted the material online.

“However, there is a big difference between spying or hacking the social media of persons to build a case against him or her as against using his/her social media posts as evidence when s/he has already committed a violation. May violation ka na nga, pinangalandakan mo pa sa social media,” he added.

Malaya advised netizens to be cautious, maintain their privacy, and to exercise sound discretion regarding how much personal information they are willing to show on their social media pages.

“Netizens ought to be aware that, by entering or uploading any kind of data or information online, they are automatically and inevitably making it permanently available online, the perpetuation of which is outside the ambit of their control,” he said.

“Since these are public posts, the PNP has every right to make social media posts as a basis to begin an investigation if warranted,” he added.

Malaya also emphasized hat unscrupulous and ill-intentioned hackers may infiltrate their pages and steal information that they might use in any way they want.

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