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DILG warns barangay officials for using SAP for power, profit

The Department of Interior and Local Government has warned barangay officials anew after continuing to receive complaints from residents over the alleged anomalies in the distribution of cash subsidies.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año told TIMES that barangay officials should not engage with any illegal acts or use their positions for profit in the implementation of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

“We will conduct investigations and file appropriate charges,” Año said.

Meanwhile, in a separate interview, DILG XI director Alex Roldan said that they received at least 30 complaints all over the region, mostly through text messages. But they received two formal letters of complaints through email.

“About 90% were allegations that the punong barangays through their purok leaders were selective in coming up with the list of SAP beneficiaries,” Roldan said. “While the remaining complaints were about non-qualified beneficiaries but were included in the list.”

The DILG XI director said the complaints, with names of non-qualified beneficiaries who were included in the masterlist, were endorsed to the Department of Social and Welfare Development for action. The rest were advised to send their petitions to the Municipal Social and Welfare Development Office to inquire why they were excluded.

“There is one who complained that they were not included but after three days, they texted me again that they just received their SAP assistance,” he said.

He said that some barangay officials might have deliberately omitted the qualified beneficiaries in favor of their relatives. However, the DSWD XI still supposed to validate the masterlist.

However, the bigger problem is the maximum number of allocation per barangay.

“If the number in the list is greater than what is allocated then the Punong Barangay is forced to cut down the beneficiary,” he said. If the list is more than the DSWD estimate, they cannot be accommodated by the DSWD so they are forced to omit some, that’s the reason for the accusations.”

There are also complaints from some beneficiaries that they still haven’t received their cash subsidies. “It’s true that nobody has yet distributed in their areas because they are not on the schedule yet,” he said. “So, there is insufficient information.”

Accordingly, over 2,000 complaints against barangay officials throughout the country have been received by the DILG over the SAP.

DILG have received numerous complaints that some officials are messing with the distribution of cash subsidies from the national government amid the community quarantine.

The complaints include barangay captains prioritizing relatives and political allies in the distribution of cash aid.

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