DILG revokes SOCE requirement, elected BSK officials to submit it to Comelec
CEBU CITY, Philippines — (UPDATED) The Department of Interior and Local Government in Central Visayas (DILG-7) clarified on Tuesday, November 21, 2023, that the elected Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (BSK) officials can assume their positions once they were proclaimed as winners and have taken their oath.
DILG-7 Legal Officer Lawyer Michael Maximo Bandal informed the public through a news forum on Tuesday that the filing of Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) is a requirement of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Bandal announced that the DILG-7 received a memorandum from the central office last October 27 that stated the revocation of DILG requiring SOCE to the elected BSK officials.
“As to the question of whether or not kung naa sila’y failure to submit sa Comelec sa ilang SOCE, that’s a matter to be addressed by the Comelec,” Bandal said.
According to DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2023-165 signed by DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos, Jr., that considering that the Comelec requires the candidates to file their SOCE, “the additional requirement of the submission to DILG of the COMELEC Certification of SOCE filing may be deemed as duplicative.”
“Hence, the DILG hereby revokes the requirement that a newly elected official submit to DILG, before assuming office, a Certification from COMELEC of SOCE filing,” the memorandum reads.
“However, in relation to the October 30, 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections, we remind all outgoing and newly elected Barangay and SK Officials to work together ensure the timely inventory, liquidation, and turnover of all barangay and SK properties, financial records, documents, and accountabilities, prior to the assumption of the newly elected officials,” said Abalos.
In previous reports, the Comelec-7 has been reminding the candidates of BSK to file their SOCE on or before November 29.
Moreover, in a separate interview on Tuesday with Omar Shariff Mamalinta, Comelec Cebu Province spokesperson, he clarified that it is the DILG’s call with regards to candidates’ assumption of office.
“Sa DILG nana nga part, wala nay labot sa Comelec. Kanang after sa canvassing namo, kutob ra diha. Ang jurisdiction [in the assumption of office] sa ilaha na,” Mamalinta said.
Comelec: Filing of SOCE is mandatory
The filing of SOCE to the Comelec is “mandatory,” he added.
“Sa among case [sa Comelec], until November 29 mi modawat and [if naay] di maabot, adto na sila [mo-file] sa Comelec Manila,” Mamalinta said.
He added that the Comelec central office in Manila would then send them information of the candidates who failed to file their SOCE, and until then the central office would be the one to inform them if there are charges or penalties against the candidates.
According to Section 39 of RA 7166, failure to submit SOCE will constitute an administrative offense and the offenders will pay an administrative fine ranging from P1,000 to P30,000 at the discretion of the Comelec.
“As far as I remember katong sa amoa [Comelec] plus the requirements sa kung mo assume na sila sa office, part ni si SOCE, pero kung naay DILG nga memorandum final na, so ilaha na pod na, wala nami labot,” Mamalinta added.
Meanwhile, as to seats of the elected barangay captains with pending disqualification cases and suspended proclamation in three areas in Cebu, the DILG-7 legal officer said that the first councilor would act as the barangay chief.
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