THE Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) expressed on Sunday, May 10, alarm over reports that some beneficiaries of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) were being arrested and detained after lodging complaints against local officials involved in irregularities in the SAP distribution.
DILG undersecretary for Barangay Affairs Martin Diño said they have received reports that several local officials were going to the house of the complainants and bring them to barangay halls, while some were even being detained.
“Meron pa diyan nag-post sa Facebook na, ‘Ako ay hindi nakatanggap. Ako ay hinatian (ng ayuda). Ako ay tinakot,’” he said.
“Pinuntahan ‘yung nag-Facebook at kinaladkad papuntang barangay. Meron pa, ipinakulong,” he added.
Diño added that those officials involved in such incident will be sanctioned.
He also reminded precinct personnel not to immediately follow orders from LGU officials to detain someone without proper disposition.
“Kayo naman nasa presinto, hindi porket binitbit ni kapitan, ng tanod ay tatanggapin niyo na,” Diño said.
“Lahat po ng mga natatanggap naming reklamo ay may mga case buildup na kami. Sasampahan na po sila ng kaso,” he added.
He said the DILG has received about 3,000 complaints against LGU officials on the irregularities in SAP distribution.
Such reports were being forwarded to the Philippine National Police (PNP) which were ordered to conduct case build-up and filing of charges against erring local officials.
President Rodrigo Duterte has offered P30,000 reward for every person who could give information about corrupt officials committing irregularities in the distribution of the cash assistance.
He made the statement following the arrest of Barangay Kagawad Danilo Flores of Barangay San Agustin in Hagonoy, Bulacan on Saturday for allegedly pocketing more than half of the SAP funds intended for his constituents.
Flores was caught on video telling SAP recipients that they would only get P3,000 of the cash aid and that the remaining P3,500 would be given to the town mayor for distribution to non-SAP beneficiaries, which prompted personnel of the local Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to coordinate with the police for his arrest.
Hagonoy Mayor Raulito Manlapaz, however denied Flores’ claims and denied any involvement on the illegal activity.
A barangay captain and a Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer in Negros Occidental were also arrested last week for conniving for the manipulation of the official list of SAP recipients in their municipality.
As of Saturday, the DSWD said about 15 million of the 18 million families who were targeted to receive SAP cash aid have received their cash subsidies.
DSWD spokesperson Director Irene Dumlao said over 85 percent of the P100 billion allocated for the first tranche of emergency cash subsidy have been sent out to beneficiaries.
The DILG has set the deadline for the distribution of SAP on Sunday, May 10 for Metro Manila LGUs.
Dumlao said undistributed funds beyond May 10 should be liquidated and returned to the DSWD.
The DILG said LGUs which failed to complete the SAP distribution will have to explain and may also be filed with administrative charges.
"Kinakailangang magsumite tayo ng reports para mai-account natin kung saan napunta 'yung pondo. Ito ay ibabalik din natin. Nakaka-review tayo ng report na isusumite sa ating mga economic managers para naman ang pondong ito ay magamit din sa iba pang distribution. It can be used as funds for other activities," said Dumlao.
DILG spokesperson and Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said there will be no more extension for the distribution of SAP. (SunStar Philippines)