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Davaoeños asked to pinpoint corrupt village officials on SAP

The Davao Police Regional Office will conduct an investigation into the reported anomalies involving barangay officials on the distribution of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

In a text message on Tuesday, Brig. Gen. Filmore Escobal, the PRO XI director, said they have not received any complaints in Davao Region yet. He urged the public to call or text their hotline numbers to report corrupt barangay officials.

“We will act on it if we receive such a complaint,” he said, adding that they respect the confidentiality of the information.

“They must indicate details that we can document and gather evidence for case buildup and the filing of the case,” Escobal said.

The Department of Social and Welfare Development office also provided hotline numbers on public concern on SAP. They can contract numbers 0977-658-6628 for Globe and 0951-822-0810 for SMART users.

On Tuesday, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to arrest local officials involved in anomalies.

Secretary Eduardo Año, in his statement, also requested the National Bureau of Investigation to prioritize the investigation involving corrupt officials. Accordingly, over 2,000 complaints against barangay officials throughout the country have been received by the DILG over the SAP.

DILG XI director Alex Roldan said 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 is still supposed to validate the masterlist.

However, the bigger problem is the maximum number of allocations 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.”

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