Dead people, minors, Filipinos abroad on list of ‘ECQ aid’ recipients – lawmaker

By: Neil Arwin Mercado - Reporter / @NAMercadoINQ - Inquirer.net | April 16,2021 - 11:33 AM

FILE PHOTO: A resident of Baseco, Manila on Wednesday, April 7, 2021, lines up to get financial assistance after the government extended the (ECQ) enhanced community quarantine from April 5-11, 2021, due to the surge of COVID-19 cases in the National Capital Region. Niño Jesus Orbeta/Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines — Dead persons, minors, and Filipinos already living abroad were among those listed as beneficiaries in the government’s cash assistance for people affected by lockdowns in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus bubble.

Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Partylist Rep. Jericho Nograles revealed this Friday, citing reports his office received regarding the inclusion of questionable individuals in the record of aid recipients.

In Pasay City, for instance, a person who was dead since August last year, ineligible minors, and a former house helper now living in Mindanao were among those listed to receive the cash by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), according to Nograles.

Similarly in Cainta, Rizal province, an overseas Filipino worker in Qatar was also listed as a recipient of the so-called ECQ aid.

“This comes as no surprise, but clearly, the DSWD and the COA (Commission on Audit) should look into this,” Nograles said in a statement.

Nograles said the anomalous cases mentioned may be an example of thousands more unqualified people on the DSWD’s financial assistance list.

“In that  barangay in Pasay City, for example, some people were surprisingly included in the new list, despite the fact that they are minors. We all know minors should not be in the list,” Nograles said.

“In that same barangay, a kasambahay who had already left for Mindanao was still listed, and, in contrast, another kasambahay who is still a resident in the area had been de-listed. It is easy to suspect and surmise, but it is the duty of the government to find out why and how did this happen,” he added.

The DSWD, along with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), should investigate these reports, said Nograles.

“Kung may dagdag-bawas sa listahan, dapat lalong suriin yan. I hope DSWD can defend the listing because Technical Malversation and Malversation of Public Funds is a serious crime that must be reported,” Nograles said.

The DSWD earlier reported that as of April 14, information from the DILG showed that 3.999 million beneficiaries have already received the P1,000 per head assistance — the bulk of which are Metro Manila residents with 2.944 million.

KGA

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TAGS: beneficiaries of government's cash assistance, dead persons, DILG, DSWD, Filipinos living abroad, minors, Nograles, Pasay City

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