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DILG warns vs use of politico’s name, image in ‘ayuda’ distribution

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Black Saturday warned against the use of a politician’s name, photo, or image during the distribution of "ayuda" or assistance in NCR Plus areas, especially for election purposes.

“The use of the ayuda for partisan political purposes for the 2022 national elections is strictly prohibited. The DILG will not tolerate the politicization of government aid or tolerate the practice when we see it or made aware of it,” DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said in a statement.

Malaya cited Section 82 of the General Appropriations Act which prohibits the use of the name, visage, appearance, logo, signature, or any other analogous image of any public official, whether elected or appointed, on all programs, activities, and projects of the government.

He added that public officials violating the prohibition could face administrative charges under COA Circular 2013-004.

The COA circular itself also prohibits the display of pictures, images, logos, initials, or any other graphic representation of the implementing officials in all government programs and projects.

Malaya said the public may file complaints to the nearest DILG field office with their photos and other documentary evidence in support of the complaint.

Joint Monitoring and Inspection Teams

Malaya meanwhile said that safeguards were being created to ensure that the enhanced community quarantine assistance gets to its intended beneficiaries.

The DILG was thus in the process of forming Joint Monitoring and Inspection Teams (JMITs) in each LGU to be headed by the DILG City or Municipal Local Government Operations Officer, and with representatives from the DSWD, PNP, City or Provincial Prosecutors Office, and civil society organizations (CSOs).

The JMIT is tasked to address the complaints or grievances from their constituents concerning the financial aid; monitor the LGU's compliance with applicable guidelines; seek the assistance of higher authorities in case of undue delay or systemic anomalies in the distribution; and cause the filing of administrative or criminal cases against public officials or individuals involved in irregular or unlawful practices relative to said financial aid.

The DILG and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) recently issued the guidelines for the distribution of financial assistance of P1,000 per individual, with a maximum of P4,000 per family, to residents in the “NCR Plus area.” — DVM, GMA News