BAGUIO CITY—The Department of the Interior and Local Government Cordillera warned local government units (LGUs) and local chief executives against individuals/groups claiming to be personnel of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and acting as middlemen in order to earn or solicit money in exchange for faster release of funds for certain programs and projects.
“We are urging our local governments to avoid getting involved with these groups or giving monetary considerations to them and to be cautious and vigilant of these schemes and only direct their letter requests to the Office of the Secretary of DBM,” DILG Cordillera Regional Director Araceli San Jose said today.
She said these unscrupulous individuals employ the following Modus Operandi: drafting of documents and asking LCEs to sign the requests, identifying contractors, and asking for earnest money under the false pretense that the release of the subject funds will be expedited soonest.
Adding, “these individuals are claiming that they have access and influence in the release of the Local Government Support Fund-Financial Assistance to Local Government Units (LGSF-FALGU) and other national government funding in exchange of fees,” she said.
Local roads, bridges, public markets, slaughterhouses, multi-purpose buildings/halls, multi-purpose pavements, drainage canals, sea wall/river wall, water system projects including level 1 stand-alone water points, evacuation centers, public parks, fish ports, and post-harvest facilities are among the infrastructure and other projects covered by LGSF-FALGU.
“Our DILG Field Offices are also enjoined in issuing the necessary guidance and advisories to help LGUs avoid transacting with these unscrupulous individuals/groups and our City/Municipal Local Government Operations Officers (C/MLGOOs) are directed to coordinate with the LGUs to prevent the recurrence of such incidents and to enjoin the LGUs to report such individuals and groups to the appropriate authorities,” she underscored.
Meanwhile, in an advisory issued by the DBM Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman, the department condemns such fraudulent claims and activities, and vows to coordinate with proper authorities to investigate and determine swiftly those who are involved in this scam.
“We have alerted and have been seriously coordinating with pertinent authorities in conducting thorough investigation into these illegal activities and shall exert all efforts, within the fullest extent of the law, to identify, apprehend and file the appropriate charges against these deceitful individuals and groups,” said DBM Sec. Pangandaman.
The DBM Secretary also reiterated that their department and its attached agencies will not authorize any person or group to negotiate and solicit money from the public in exchange for favor.
“We strongly uphold with integrity, diligence, and transparency, and we strictly follow the provisions of existing laws, rules, and regulations on the release of funds,” she said.
The DBM also urges the public to be more discerning and to report similar cases or any other suspicious undertaking using the name of their department, its secretary, or any other official to advance their personal agenda and interest. By PMTG