AdChoiceTV News — The government cannot avoid the politicization of the cash or in-kind assistance in connection with the 2022 elections, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Epimaco Densing admitted yesterday.
“We cannot avoid that. It will be used for elections. There’s less chance if this happened last year when the elections were still far away. But now that the polls are nearing, it’s a given that it will be used as a tool and we cannot control it anymore,” Densing said in Filipino, noting that the DILG looks at distributing aid rather than pondering its political use.
However, Densing said they could still file a case against any local official who uses the assistance for political gain.
The national government is aiming to give 80 percent of residents in NCR-Plus areas some form of assistance due to the re-imposition of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Makati City Mayor Abby Binay said distributing food packs to families in ECQ areas as mandated by the national government sounds like a tall order, adding that it would be “logically impossible” to buy the essential goods and pack them.
“To be able to repack for the recipients in one week, I think that is not logically possible,” she said.
Binay revealed the Makati LGU received P517 million from the national government, to be given to the city’s 517,419 residents. They are planning to distribute aid electronically, just like last year when over 500,000 city residents received P5,000 each under the Makati Economic Relief Program.
Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) called the P1,000 food aid “outright insensitive” and obviously insufficient for families in lockdown areas.
“The previous P8,000 was not even enough to cover the high cost of food, expenses and health care. If the government wants to help workers, there should be a clear amount and plan. Maybe this is another scam,” KMU chair Elmer Labog said in Filipino.
The government’s anti-corruption task force yesterday launched “Kasangga Tokhang Laban sa Korapsyon,” a new campaign that uses technology to monitor reports from various government offices.
“The goal is to persuade all officials of the government to join the advocacy of the President to fight corruption by cooperating with the PACC and assigning people who will work on the fast determination and investigation of cases of corruption in their respective agencies,” Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) chairman Greco Belgica said.
“By using technology and automation, we can fast-track first, the process of investigations and second, the processes of offices,” he added.
The campaign will focus on the public works department and the internal revenue and customs bureaus.
Reporting by Irvin Chua