By Chito Chavez
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is now faced with the daunting challenge of reviewing each of the more than 2,000 social amelioration program (SAP) related complaints received by the agency.
Even with the creation of the DILG Emergency Operations Center, a former Quezon City barangay kagawad said this does not seem to strike fear among the “scalawags of local politics,’’ as irregularities abound in the distribution of cash aid to the most vulnerable members of the society under SAP.
He noted that the “walang kahihiyang (shameless)’’ barangay officials hope for being exonerated from any liability as they are banking on the voluminous tasks of scrutinizing each complaint to keep the DILG pinned down.
Since due process has to be followed and that takes time, the former barangay official said that corrupt barangay leaders remain confident that their irregularities would remain unnoticed and eventually shelved.
President Duterte on Monday had Kagawad Danilo Flores of Barangay San Agustin in Hagonoy, Bulacan arrested for allegedly pocketing P3,500 of the P6,000 the cash grants for his constituents. The unprincipled, however, merely shrugged off this arrest, treating it as an isolated case.
In reviewing the roster of SAP grantees, the former barangay kagawad was surprised to find the names of the children of two current barangay kagawads.
Also included in the list are the brother and relatives of a female barangay kagawad, and the name of the barangay treasurer herself.
He also alleged that fictitious names were in the list to gain more cash aid for one household, while the names of the children of one head of the family were also included the roster.
With these irregularities, the ex-barangay official said the DILG should be more focused and alert in dealing with the complaints to put guilty parties behind bars.
Meanwhile, in a DZMM report, the DILG Emergency Operation Center revealed that as much as 71.5 percent of the complaints are related to the cash and relief goods distribution under the SAP.
This was based on the 8,146 calls received by the DILG-EOC from March until this month, according to its operations head, Police Lt. Col. Noel Dumalag.