February 9, 2023

The Department of the Interior and Local Government Cordillera renewed its appeal to local government units to be cautious against individuals/groups presenting themselves as officials who can fast-track fund release of infrastructure projects in exchange for a fee.
The appeal was renewed following reports about individuals in the region claiming they have access and influence in the release of the Local Government Support Fund-Financial Assistance to Local Government Units (LGSF-Falgu) and other national government funding in exchange of fees.
“We are warning our local governments to avoid getting involved with these groups or giving monetary considerations to them and to be cautious and vigilant of these schemes,” DILG Regional Director Araceli San Jose said.
She said local roads, bridges, public markets, slaughterhouses, multi-purpose buildings/halls, multipurpose pavements, drainage canals, sea wall/river wall, water system projects including level 1 stand-alone water points, evacuation centers, public parks, fish ports, and post-harvest facilities are among the infrastructure and other projects covered by LGSF-Falgu.
Based on reports, there are unscrupulous individuals claiming to have facilitated and expedited the release of LGSF-Falgu and demanding from the mayors in Ifugao and Mountain Province to give them five to 15 percent of the amount received by the LGUs.
Some of these individuals are also demanding they should be the ones contracted by the LGUs to implement the projects under LGSF-Falgu.
San Jose stressed only project proposals submitted by the LGUs directly to DILG through channels are reviewed and endorsed to Department of Budget and Management for funding. The LGSF-Falgu is released directly to LGUs without a need for anybody to follow it up, influence, and expedite the release of said funds.
She also reminded recipient LGUs to comply with the provisions of Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Act and be diligent in screening contractors who will implement the projects.
“Our DILG field offices are also enjoined in issuing the necessary guidance and advisories to help LGUs avoid transacting with these individuals/groups and our city/municipal local government operations officers (C/MLGOOs) are directed to coordinate with the LGUs to prevent the recurrence of such incidents and to enjoin the LGUs to report such individuals and groups to the appropriate authorities,” San Jose said.
In an advisory issued by DBM Sec. Amenah F. Pangandaman, the department condemned such fraudulent claims and activities and vowed to coordinate with authorities to investigate and determine swiftly those who are involved in this scam.
“We have alerted and have been seriously coordinating with authorities in conducting thorough investigation into these illegal activities and shall exert all efforts, within the fullest extent of the law, to identify, apprehend and file the appropriate charges against these deceitful individuals and groups,” Pangandaman said.
She added the DBM and its attached agencies will not authorize any person or group to negotiate and solicit money from the public in exchange for favor.
“We strongly uphold with integrity, diligence, and transparency, and we strictly follow the provisions of existing laws, rules, and regulations on the release of funds,” she said.
The DBM also urged the public to be more discerning and to report similar cases or any other suspicious undertaking using the name of DBM, its secretary, or any other official to advance their personal agenda and interest. – Press release