July 17, 2024

The Department of the Interior and Local Government-Cordillera reiterated its warning to local government units to refrain from engaging with individuals and groups posing as “agents” or personnel of the DILG and the Department of Budget and Management that claim to facilitate the release of support funds for various projects in exchange of a fee.

The warning came after reports from various LGUs that certain individuals and organized groups continue to misrepresent themselves to be associated with national government agencies such as the DILG and DBM, claiming they have certain “influence” on the release of funds for various government projects especially those under the Local Government Support Fund-Financial Assistance to Local Government Units (LGSF-FALGU).

DILG-Cordillera Director Araceli A. San Jose said these bogus groups and individuals allegedly approach unsuspecting LGUs with falsified documents, promising to expedite the release of funds in exchange for a certain percentage of the amount the LGU is set to receive.

Last year, certain LGUs in Ifugao and Mountain Province reported experiencing similar incidents where unscrupulous individuals demanded five to 15 percent of the amount they will receive, and insisted they should be the group to be contracted by the LGUs to implement these projects.

“We appeal to all our LGUs to exercise utmost diligence in engaging with any unauthorized individuals or groups, especially on matters concerning public funds. The DILG and the DBM operates only through our official channels and platforms to maintain fairness and integrity,” San Jose said.

San Jose reminded LGUs to be wary of disclosing their official e-mail addresses and passwords, particularly those registered under the DBM’s Digital Requests Submissions for LGSF, to any unauthorized entities to prevent potential misuse.

“We also enjoin our LGUs to likewise scale up their cybersecurity measures to ensure that all their government-issued accounts and equipment are free from any form of spyware or ransomware to prevent unauthorized access and breach of sensitive data,” she said.

San Jose said the DILG is currently coordinating with the Police Regional Office-Cordillera to assist LGUs in handling similar cases.

The public can get in touch with the DBM’s Public Assistance Office through email address [email protected], its hotline number 8657-3300 local 2524, or the Usapang Budget Natin’s Facebook page.

Similar incidents can also be reported to the National Bureau of Investigation through their number (02) 8523-8231 to 38. – Press release