By Betheena Unite
Officers of the right-of-way task force of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) are not, in any way, soliciting money from the stakeholders or the public, an official of the agency said Tuesday amid continuous reports of such scheme.
There have been unscrupulous individuals perpetrating fraud by misrepresenting themselves as members of the Right-of-Way Task force by soliciting money or seeking favors from property owners affected by projects mostly under Toll Regulatory Board, DPWH-Public Private Partnership (PPP) Service Director Alex Bote bared.
These attempts are fraud, Bote said, reminding the public not to fall prey to these schemes.
Bote emphasized the need for the public to be more alert, cautious and vigilant against people using his name or that of his office and staff, especially with the PPP Service’s involvement in the implementation of priority expressway projects under the Build, Build, Build program.
“The possible involvement of personnel from the DPWH PPP Service or members of Right-of-Way Task force in soliciting or asking favors is a modus operandi and will not be tolerated by DPWH management,” said Bote.
The agency also made an advisory to all project stakeholders on the increasing reports of fraudulent activities.
According to DPWH Stakeholders Relations Service Director Elizabeth Pilorin, the public may report through Secretary Mark Villar’s 24/7 Hotline 165-02 any similar incident of unauthorized and unlawful solicitations in any form from officials and employees of the department. The public can also come forward and file the necessary complaint, Pilorin added.
“In the past, fraudulent activities by falsely misrepresenting or impersonating officials of DPWH have thrived despite numerous warnings and public advisories from the department,” Pilorin said noting that the agency has been trying to stop the illegal activities of scammers or syndicates through posting of announcements in its website and social media pages.
Bote, on the other hand, also encouraged the public to seek their office’s help in case they encounter similar schemes.