DILG: PNP clearance required for civic groups planning to aid local COVID-19 efforts

Published February 4, 2021, 12:32 PM

by Chito Chavez

Civic society organizaitons (CSOs) which seek to assist the government in the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) response, especially at the local level, must secure clearance first from the Philippine National Police (PNP), an official of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said on Thursday.


DILG Officer-In-Charge Bernardo Florece said the clearance from the PNP would ensure that bogus CSOs engage in nefarious money-making activities activities would not be given the chance to exploit the COVID problems for thier interest.

“To determine the legitimacy of CSOs and prevent scams and other fraud, they are required to secure clearances from the PNP in addition to local accreditation requirements,” said Florece.

Florece explained that the PNP clearance shall indicate that CSOs has no record of illegal activity.

This, as Florece revealed that the DILG rhad eceived verified reports that fly-by-night CSOs are planning to engage the local government units (LGUs) in their COVID-19 work to solicit funds from domestic and international funding institutions.

The official said there is an existing DILG directive for the CSOs, private sector organizations and volunteer groups/individuals to work with the barangay leaders in contact tracing, public information campaign on Disiplina Muna, values formation training, and capacity building activities on livelihood opportunities.

Among the other requirements for CSOs to be accredited as stated in DILG Memo Circular 2019-72 are the following: list of current officers and members; board resolution signifying intention for accreditation; original sworn statement that CSO is an independent, non-partisan organization; minutes of annual meeting, annual accomplishment report and financial statement for the preceding year.

Meanwhile, DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said the DILG issued Memorandum Circular (MC) 2021-012 urging the LGUs to set up a CSO desk that will be responsible for handling CSO-related concerns in their localities.

In the said directive, provincial, city, and municipal LGUs are tasked to create a CSO desk to be headed by a designated or appointed CSO Desk Officer who shall facilitate and promote people’s participation in governance within the LGU.

The LGUs are further directed, through the Sanggunian, to enact an ordinance establishing a system of partnership between the LGU and CSOs or People’s Organizations (POs) that defines their roles and involvement in various local government programs, projects, and activities. This includes their participation in the Local Special Bodies (LSBs), committees, task forces, and similar groups, as required by law and the national government.

Malaya added the CSO desk will be responsible for the organization of federation or coalition of sectoral CSOs, including the formation of People’s Council in the LGU.

In the same directive, the LGUs are likewise encouraged to establish a mechanism that will facilitate a federation of sectoral CSOs or POs in the barangay, municipality, city, and province, and a People’s Council in the province, city, or municipality, with membership coming from the different sectors of CSOs or POs that are accredited, registered, and recognized by the LGUs.

“The participation of CSOs in government processes is important for the purpose of providing check and balance and in exacting accountability. An active CSO participation is an indicator of healthy participatory governance,” said Malaya.