Pardo village chief seeks DILG probe on Odette financial assistance anomalies
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Poblacion Pardo Barangay Captain Archie Araw-araw is seeking the help of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to investigate the anomalies on the distribution of Odette financial assistance in his village.
In a phone interview with reporters on June 8, 2022, the village chief said he has written to the DILG, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, and the DSWS to conduct an investigation on the matter.
Araw-araw has brought to light discrepancies in the list of beneficiaries submitted by the barangay to the Cebu City Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) and the final list of beneficiaries who received the financial aid.
He said that the final list contained at least 200 more beneficiaries than they originally submitted, and when they were able to get a copy of the final list, they found multiple names of residents who have been deceased for five years. Some of the beneficiaries are also already living abroad, and are not qualified for the aid.
“Pag first and second batch sa distributions, nicoordinate sila namo mao na nacheck namo ang mga ngalan. Usahay naay malista nga pareha ra’g balay, kanang mga naglive-in diay pero lahi’g apelyido, macorrect namo. Pero karong ikatulong pagpanghatag, wala sila nicoordinate namo,” said the village chief.
(During the first and second batch of distributions, they coordinated with us that’s why we were able to check the names. Sometimes there were names of those lived in one house, those were actually live-in partners but had different family names. We were able to correct that. But in the third distribution, they didn’t coordinate with us.)
Upon their initial investigation, the hard copy of the list Barangay Pardo submitted to DSWS was not recorded as received.
He believes that the list they submitted was never received by the DSWS, which means that the list used during the distribution is questionable as the DSWS may not have been able to cross-check the list with that submitted by the Mayor’s Information and Liaison Office (MILO).
“Magwonder na ka, asa diay ni nila gikuha ang lista nga wala man nila nareceive among copy sa 2,279. And asa ni gikan ang 2,444? Naa gyod ni’y gibinuang,” said Araw-araw.
(You’d start to wonder, where did they get the list when they did not receive our copy of the 2,279. Where did this 2,444 come from? There’s some foolishness here.)
The village chief believes that personnel may be behind the anomalies, which is why he is asking the DILG to investigate since there may have been people who intentionally used the list for their selfish gains.
Araw-araw is also willing to work with the city government to uncover the cause for the anomalies to give justice to the residents who never received the aid but were qualified.
Meanwhile, DSWS head Portia Basmayor said that their legal team is already neck-deep in investigating the anomalies in the Odette financial assistance list.
She acknowledged that only Poblacion Pardo complained of the incident, which they hope is an isolated case. They have met with the barangay officials and the DSWS personnel to discuss the discrepancy.
Initial investigation revealed that Poblacion Pardo provided a flashdrive containing the names of the beneficiaries, so the DSWS received a copy from the barangay.
“Ang findings namo is ang USB (flashdrive) gikan gyod to sa barangay. Gikan gyod to nila kay dili man mi modawat lang og bisan unsa nga USB,” she said.
(Our finding is that the USB was really from the barangay. It really came from them because we don’t just accept any USB.)
Furthermore, DSWS is looking into the possibility that upon validation, the residents of the homes listed the original owners of the structures they lived in, who may have died before Typhoon Odette, causing the confusion.
She assured the public that they will get to the bottom of the issue to settle the discrepancies.
Mayor Rama already said charges are waiting for the personnel proven to have caused the anomalies in the Odette financial assistance, especially those who allowed the release of the financial assistance to unqualified beneficiaries.
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