By Minka Klaudia Tiangco
Forty-six barangay officials were issued show cause orders by the city government over alleged irregularities in their distribution of food and financial assistance to residents.
SHOW CAUSE ORDERS—The Manila City government issued show cause orders against 46 barangay chairmen over alleged unfair distribution of food and cash assistance amid the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) crisis. Earlier, Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso called on residents to report their barangay officials' irregularities in relief distribution. (Manila Public Information Office / MANILA BULLETIN)
Of this number, 44 are barangays heads, one is a barangay secretary, and one is a barangay treasurer.
Acting Manila City administrator Atty. Marlon Lacson ordered the barangay officials to explain the allegations against them within 72 hours. Should they fail to do so, they may face charges for violation of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, R.A. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and other relevant city ordinances.
In his city address Tuesday night, Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso also said that five barangay officials from Tondo are now being investigated by the police and may face criminal and administrative charges for reportedly reducing the amount of food from relief packs intended for distribution to residents.
"Wala po talaga silang karapatan na gawin 'yon sapagka't ang mga iyon ay nakalaan para sa inyo (The barangay officials do not have a right to do that because the food and cash assistance are allocated for you)," he said.
"Papanagutin po natin sila, mga kababayan, kasi hirap na hirap na nga kayo... 'yung para nga sa inyo, hindi niyo pa makuha. Ipapakiusap niyo pa sa barangay official, tapos dadaan-daanan lang kayo (We will hold them accountable because you are already struggling... you are not receiving what is allocated for you. You even have to plead with barangay officials who just ignore you)," he added.
The food and cash assistance that the city government have been doling out are given to barangay officials who are then tasked to distribute the goods to residents.
But Domagoso said they received complaints of residents not receiving or only getting half of the P1,000-cash assistance allocated by the city government to each family in Manila.
Some residents also complained of receiving food packs with its contents reduced. A number of senior citizens claimed that they were not given the milk food supplement provided by the city government.