DILG tells local officials not to put names, photos on gov’t assistance packages

Published April 3, 2021, 3:47 PM

by Chito Chavez

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) warned local officials against using their names and photos in the distribution of assistance to people who were affected by the re-implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila and four adjacent provinces.

DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said the assistance coming from the P22.9 billion fund ordered released by President Duterte should not be used for the 2022 elections.

He said violators will be held liable under Section 82 of the General Appropriations Act, which prohibits the use of the name, visage, appearance, logo, signature, or any other analogous image of any public official, whether elected or appointed, on all programs, activities, and projects of the government.

Malaya said DILG and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) have already set the guidelines for the distribution of financial assistance of P1,000 per individual, with a maximum of P4,000 per family, to NCR Plus residents. “Administrative charges under COA Circular 2013-004 may also be filed against public officials violating the said prohibition.

The said COA Circular also prohibits the display of pictures, images, logos, initials, or any other graphic representation of the implementing officials in all government programs and projects,’’ the DILG said.

Malaya revealed that the public may file complaints with the nearest DILG field office together with photos and other documentary evidence in support of their claims.

He added that safeguards are in place to ensure that the funds will get to the intended beneficiaries and that there is an appeals process in the LGU where people can submit their complaints.

“We will make sure that the funds downloaded to the LGUs are used for purposes they were intended for. Before distribution, the mayor should issue an executive order detailing therein the type, manner, or process of distribution so that the public is properly guided. They are also required to create a Grievance and Appeals Committee per LGU where people can submit complaints,” Malaya said.

“The LGU Grievance and Appeals Committee shall handle all complaints from the public with dispatch,” he added.

Malaya said that they will also create a Joint Monitoring and Inspection Team in each LGU headed by the DILG City/Municipal Local Government Operations Offer and representatives from DSWD, PNP, City or Provincial Prosecutors Office, and civil society organizations (CSOs).

He explained that the Joint Monitoring and Inspection Teams (JMIT) will address complaints or grievances from their constituents concerning the financial aid, monitor LGU compliance with applicable guidelines, seek the assistance of higher authorities in case of undue delay or systemic anomalies in the distribution, and cause the filing of administrative or criminal cases against public officials or individuals involved in irregular or unlawful practices relative to said financial aid.

As part of the JMIT, Malaya said the PNP will immediately investigate and do case build-up on reported cases of anomalies, irregularities or graft and corruption concerning the aid distribution.