Anomalies involving the implementation of the first tranche of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) during this COVID-19 pandemic have surfaced, and the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) has now imposed a six-month preventive suspension on 89 barangay captains, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) announced Saturday.
An Order from the OMB dated September 2, 2020 states that "the evidence on record shows that the guilt of these punong barangays is strong and the charges against them involve Serious Dishonesty, Grave Misconduct, Abuse of Authority and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service which may warrant removal from the service."
Except for Regions IX and XII, all regions across the country reportedly recorded oddities in their SAP implementations. You can check out the tally of suspended officials per region below:
- National Capital Region (NCR) - 11
- Region I - 12
- Region II - 10
- Region III - 3
- Region IV-A - 4
- Region IV-B - 4
- Region V - 9
- Region VI - 8
- Region VII - 9
- Region VIII - 7
- Region X - 3
- Region XI - 5
- Region XIII - 1
- Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) - 3
DILG secretary Eduardo Año said that this decision by the OMB should serve as a warning to all local government units that the agency will not tolerate such behavior. "Naway magsilbing babala ang suspensiyon na ito sa iba pang mga lokal na opisyales. Ang katiwalian ay walang puwang sa ating pamahalaan lalong-lalo pa ngayong panahon ng pandemya," added Año.