February 5, 2023

The town of Bokod, Benguet will reward anyone who has information about individuals involved in illegal logging, illegal dumping of wastes, and terrorism within the municipality.

“It is noted that implementation of these laws will be more effective with the participation of the constituency, thus, giving reward as an incentive to encourage the constituent to involve themselves in this endeavor is in order,” the ordinance reads.

An initial reward of P5,000 will be given to the informer upon certification by the chief of police of Bokod Municipal Police Station that the information given has led to the apprehension and prosecution of the accused.

The informer will be given an additional P10,000 upon conviction of the accused through the informer’s testimony.

Also, the certifications issued by the head of Bokod MPS and the prosecutor’s office stating there is probable cause shall be forwarded to the town council’s committee on public order and safety for review.

After verification, the certifications shall be endorsed to the municipal treasurer, which will serve as basis for the release of reward to the informer.

The ordinance stated that all personnel of the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines shall be disqualified from receiving the reward.

It added the term prosecution used in the ordinance shall mean the filing of the proper charge in a court of law regardless of the result of the trial conducted in relation to it.

The municipality shall appropriate P50,000 to fund the rewards given to informers.

During the provincial board’s deliberation of the ordinance on Jan. 16, Board Member Florencio Bentres said the measure might step into the role of the police’s intelligence work, for which they have intelligence funds, and other towns might replicate such ordinance.

But peace and order committee chair Fernando Balaodan said the committee’s report that the ordinance is not contrary to any law or statute and is within the bounds of the Bokod town council to enact such ordinance, which was certified as legal by the Provincial Legal Office.

The Benguet provincial board eventually gave a favorable review of the ordinance. – Ofelia C. Empian