Monday Aug, 03 2020 11:03:24 PM

BARMM exec to beneficiaries: “Slap officials cutting 4Ps funds”

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • 17:15 PM Wed Aug 21, 2019
A Maranao woman flashes a smile while outside the gymnasium in Malabang, Lanao del Sur while waiting for her turn to receive 4Ps funds from BARMM. (FC)

COTABATO City - “Slap them, create a scene.”

This was the advice of Minister Naguib Sinarimbo of the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILF-BARMM) to Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries to help Bangsamoro government end corruption and malpractices that blemished the government’s assistance for the poor.

Sinarimbo made the statement similar to President Duterte’s warning against corrupt officials during the launching of “Kapihan sa Bangsamoro” weekly conference.

“Pwede na nilang gawin yung sinabi ni President Duterte na sampalin nila, para meron tayong mapag-usapan, yung merong marka na pwede nating habulin at kasuhan (They can do what Pres. Duterte told them so we have something to talk about, we have basis to run after them and file charges),” he said.

Sinarimbo has expressed alarm over reports that corrupt leaders in the barangay are already eyeing the 4Ps program as milking cow.

“Ang reports na dumating sa amin ay yung mga officials from barangays at munisipyo ay nakikialam sa pay-out at nagkakaroon ng linkages with the municipal links (DSWD employee), parent leaders at officials sa baba,” Sinarimbo revealed.

However, Sinarimbo assured that validation and investigation are on going to put an end to this malpractice by opportunists local leaders who may be raking in millions at the expense of the poor in BARMM.

“It that happened in the past, not during the current BARMM leadership which is pushing for moral governance,” he added.

A video went viral few years ago in Lanao Del Sur payout activity where a village chairperson was caught filmed getting cuts from the beneficiaries.

Last year, the DSWD central office suspended the releases of 4Ps funds to the defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) due to discrepancies and bloated data of indigents enrolled in the program.

Immediately, DSWD conducted massive validation, the use of biometric system and actual house to house enumeration of every member beneficiaries to cleanse the list of “ghost” beneficiaries.

Today, a new and cleansed list is used by the Ministry of Social Services (MOSS-BARMM).

For example, the resumption of 4P’s payouts on August 8 in Malabang, Lanao del Sur showed that the number enrolled before the cleansing was 3,900 but after the validation by BARMM, the town has only 3,848 members.

This means, 52 fictitious names were added to the list in the past that bloated the number. Result: The government has saved around 365,000 pesos.

But Malabang Mayor Mohamad Macapodi has expressed his disgust to some DSWD enumerators who were conducting validation from other village instead of actual validation in a community where they are supposed to get their accurate data.

“Need natin yung enumerators’ ay pumunta talaga sa bahay (ng beneficiary) dahil doon malalaman ang estado sa buhay, di lang basta interview kundi titingnan talaga ang saan sila nakatira at ano ang kalagayan nila,” said Lawyer Raisa Jajurie, the head of BARMM-Social Services and welfare ministry.

Her office has sought the assistance of the MILG to help them work with local officials on the ground to implement correctly and properly the program and stop the wrongdoings of the past.

Acting on Jajurie’s request, Sinarimbo issued Memorandum Order No. 25 directing local officials to refrain from directly or indirectly interfering in the process or use the program for their political advantage.

BARMM 4Ps beneficiaries who have not received payouts for the past seven months due to the suspension could get an accumulated amount ranging from P15 to as much as P30,000 each.

In Lanao Del Sur, the payout coverage will be until October while by September, Tawi-Tawi province will start also receiving payouts. This will be followed by Maguindanao and Sulu.

For Noraida Lomondot, 50, a widowed grandmother from Barangay Macauranding in Malabang town, said no way she will give her shares to any local officials or from DSWD.

“Why would I give shares to them, I am old and helpless, this is for the poor”, she said in Visayan dialect. Lomondot, the breadwinner in the family, is from Visayas but has converted to Maranao.

Lomondot is raising her three grandchildren whom she said were products of broken family. They were children of her daughter who abandoned them. The kids mother were jobless and also dependent from Lomondot.

“I am just thankful, 4P’s came, if not, I don’t know,” she added.

What Lomondot admitted that a big chunk of her benefits will be used for repayment of debts from lending firms whose operators are waiting outside the town hall premises for collection. (FC)


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