No let-up mood for DILG in pursuing cases related to SAP anomalies

Published December 1, 2020, 11:23 AM

by Chito Chavez

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año reported that 27 alleged Social Amelioration Program (SAP) related anomalies were re-filed before the Office of the Ombudsman while 270 were filed with the Prosecutors’ Office with 30 cases now reaching the trial courts.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)

In a meeting with President Duterte on Monday night, Año gave these updates on the 367 cases investigated by the DILG.

Año’s report was based on the SAP related criminal complaints the DILG has probed and received 782 complainants that involved 1,278 suspects.

In the administrative cases lodged against the barangay captains, Año said 184 complaints were referred to the Prosecutors’ Office, 57 were elevated to the trial courts while 66 were re-filed with the Office of the Ombudsman.

“Mayroon tayong kasalukuyang under suspension na 89 barangay chairmen (We currently have 89 barangay chairmen suspended (for SAP related violation complaints),’’ Año said.

With regards to the swift approval of various permits of the construction of towers of the telecommunication firms, Año told the President that 2,220 applications were already approved with only 712 still pending.

He noted that these figures were obtained after the President ordered the local government units (LGUs) and other concerned agencies to facilitate approval of such applications.

In his fifth State-of-the-Nation-Address (SONA) last July 27, Duterte warned the telecommunication firms that they will be shut down in December this year if they do not improve the delivery of their services.

But Globe Telecom president Ernest Cu in a meeting with the President three days after the SONA attributed the lack of cell sites for the poor signals of the communication lines.

In the said meeting, Cu noted a telecom company needs to get 28 to 30 permits for one cell tower with the process taking around eight months.

Earlier, Año said the DILG, Anti-Red Tape Authority together with the other national government agencies (NGAs) have already agreed to streamline the documentary requirements and processing time for building permit applications on shared passive telecommunications tower infrastructure also known as common telecommunications towers.

With the signing of the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC), Año said this will do away with the resolutions from the homeowners’ associations, city and municipal resolutions and all other processes that delay the acquisition of the permits.