June 24, 2024

Local government units were reminded anew to be wary of individuals offering to help them access development funds from the national government in exchange for fees or commissions.

The regional offices of the Department of the Interior and Local Government and Department of Budget Management have warned LGUs not to transact with individuals or groups who promise to facilitate their access to the Government Support Fund-Financial Assistance to Local Government Units (LGSF-Falgu).

DBM-Cordillera Supervising Budget Management Specialist James Degsi said LGUs must consider as a red flag when an individual or group tells them it has already secured from the DBM special allotment release orders (SARO) of notices of cash allocations for projects funded under the LGSF-Falgu.

Degsi said the DBM does not release SAROs and notices of cash allocations to LGUs.

“It is the Bureau of Treasury, not the DBM that transfers the fund to the LGUs,” Degsi said, adding it is unfortunate that despite the repeated warnings issued against unscrupulous individuals who claim to have access to the LGSF funds, there are still LGUs that fall prey to the scam.

He said if the person or group promises that it can access more funds for the LGU, this is another red flag.

Degsi said the DBM has already declared that LGUs can submit their project proposals under the LGSF directly to the regional offices of the agency and not deal with fixers or third party entities.

For 2022, the ceiling of the amount that can be accessed by a municipality under the LGSF is P10 million while P5M for barangays, and P20M for cities.

“If the individuals or groups promise more than that, do not believe in them,” Degsi said.

DILG-Cordillera Director Araceli San Jose said two local chief executives have shared they were victimized by individuals who claim to have access to the LGSF funds.

The fixers reportedly asked for at least P200,000 for every approved project they supposedly facilitated.

The DILG and DBM advised LGUs to directly transact with the regional offices and not with individuals or groups.

In 2021, the government allocated P13.5 billion for the LGSF. Among the projects that can be funded are local roads, bridges, public markets, slaughterhouses, multipurpose buildings, multipurpose pavements, drainage canals, sea wall/river wall, and water systems.

The DBM and DILG officials have advised LGUs to get the names of individuals offering their services to facilitate their access to the LGSF funds and report them to the regional offices. – Jane B. Cadalig