300 cases filed vs. local officials over SAP mess

More than 300 cases have been filed against local officials over alleged anomalies in the distribution of the government's Social Amelioration Program (SAP) funds during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a televised meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte late Monday, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said 27 alleged SAP-related anomalies were re-filed before the Office of the Ombudsman while 270 were filed with the Prosecutors’ Office, with 30 cases now reaching the trial courts.

This dovetailed with the President's revealing another list of about 64 government officials who were dismissed over graft and corruption cases Monday night.

Among the more prominent names in the President's list were former Agriculture Secretary Nasser Pangandaman and former Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

Año’s report was based on the SAP-related criminal complaints the DILG has probed which involved 782 complainants and 1,278 suspects.

Año gave these updates on the 367 cases investigated by the DILG.

The cases filed are against officials alleged to have violated Republic Act 3019 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, RA 6713 or Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards, and the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, among others, while cases of robbery extortions and grave threats have been filed against some of the officials.

In the administrative cases lodged against the barangay chairpersons, Año said 184 complaints were referred to the Prosecutors’ Office, 57 were elevated to the trial courts, while 66 were re-filed with the Office of the Ombudsman.

“We currently have 89 barangay chairmen suspended for SAP related violation complaints,’’ Año noted.

Meanwhile, Año said over 260,000 contact tracers have been deployed across the country to help respond against the coronavirus disease 2019.

“As for contact tracing, we now have 263,398 contact tracers that would form 30,540 teams and now we have 1:6 close contact ratio at 95.87 percent efficiency,” he said.

The DILG earlier hired 50,000 contact tracers in various LGUs pursuant to the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act which reinforces the government’s contact-tracing efforts.

Some of the responsibilities of the contact tracers are to conduct interviews, profiling and perform an initial public health risk assessment of Covid-19 cases and their identified close contacts; refer the close contacts to isolation facilities; conduct enhanced contact tracing in collaboration with other agencies and private sector; conduct daily monitoring of close and general contacts for at least 14 days; and perform other Covid-19 related response tasks.

The contact tracers would get a minimum salary of P18,784 per month on a contract of service basis.

Topics: Rodrigo Duterte , Eduardo Año , Social Amelioration Program , COVID-19 , Bayanihan to Heal as One Act
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