BONTOC, Mountain Province – Concerned sectors in the province raised concern over the evident practice of some elected officials in distributing various financial assistance from certain government agencies and making it appear that the release of the funds for these were due their initiative.
Sources who requested anonymity for personal reasons claimed that some local governments deliberately delayed the release of the funds for the beneficiaries of the labor department’s Tulong Pangkabuhayan Para Sa Ating Disadvantaged and Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program last year but allowed the successive release of these this year purposely to boost the images of politicians and to help in their early campaigning.
What is ironic, according to the source, is that some local officials are making it appear that the release of the funds for the beneficiaries had been facilitated by their party mates in cahoots with corrupt department heads to improve the image of their bosses.
While people are fully aware that such financial assistance programs are being used for the political aggrandizement of these politicians, the sources fear that such form of early campaigning will influence voters, especially during these difficult times when people need every help to cope up with the effect of the ongoing pandemic.
According to the sources, some local officials went to the extent of removing from the concerned Public Employment Service Office (PESOs) the screening of beneficiaries deliberate delaying the processing of the qualified recipients and the releasing of their benefits to ensure that their supporters who will dominate the final list of beneficiaries which runs counter to the very purpose of the said program.
The sources alleged that had the matter on the identification of beneficiaries of the said financial assistance programs been left to the concerned office, such questions would not arise that now casts doubts on the credibility of the labor department that is in charge of implementing the program.
The source called on the people not to be swayed into believing that the release of the funds for the beneficiaries of various programs of the government is through the work of certain politicians because even without their interventions, the identification of recipients could be pursued at the grassroots level by responsible employees who do not have any political inclination, thus, it is guaranteed that the recipients are really those who are in need of the available assistance.