CAGAYAN de Oro City--The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) warned it will press charges against any barangay officials who will politicize the distribution of relief goods.
In a news released yesterday, DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said he will not hesitate to file charges against erring barangay officials who wil pliticized the relief distribution "this time of national calamity if warranted by evidence."
Año issued the statement as some local government units (LGUs) and barangays started distributing relief goods due to coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis.
He urged the barangay officials to set aside politics and cater to those who need it the most.
“In these trying times, let us not make it harder for our constituents by requiring them to present their voter’s ID first before granting them the relief goods. Instead, our LGUs and barangays must see to it that we prioritize the poorest of the poor and not their friends and relatives,” said DILG Regional Director Arnel M. Agabe of Region 10.
Agabe reiterated that the DILG secretary will not hesitate to file charges against barangay officials injecting politics into relief distribution at this time of national calamity if warranted by evidence.
As per DILG Central Office, the newly signed Republic Act (RA) 11469 otherwise known as “Bayanihan to Heal As One Act” provides penalties to LGU officials disobeying national government policies or directives during this period of national emergency. Section 6 of RA 11469 imposes imprisonment of two months or a fine of not more than One Million pesos or both, at the discretion of the court, for violations of the said law.
With this, the regional director called for the local government units and barangays to ensure that their policies are consistent with the national directives to avoid confusion and unfairness within their communities.
"COVID-19 is already a serious concern that we need to address; thus, we are calling our leaders to step up and ensure that they are contributing solutions and not aggravating the problems we are facing now," Agabe said.
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