DILG warns vs collecting fees for food stubs, quarantine passes

Aileen Cerrudo

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has warned local chief executives and barangay officials against collecting fees from residents in exchange for quarantine passes and food stubs.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said erring local officials will face suspension if they are proven to have abused the enhanced community quarantine.

“[They will] certainly be suspended or put behind bars as their despicable act in a time of a public health emergency is unbecoming of a government official and goes against the tenets of public service,” he said.

This was after the DILG received reports about several barangay officials who are collecting fees in exchange for quarantine passes and food stubs.

The department also received reports on checkpoints where authorities would also collect fees from cargo trucks and food deliveries.

The DILG secretary said he will make sure that these officials will be put to jail for abusing the public during a crisis.

“You are expected to help your people not cause them more suffering,” Año said.

“We will impose the law. Wala po kaming kikilingan kahit mayor ka pa o kapitan ng barangay. Basta napatunayang ikaw ay may sala in proper due process, mananagot ka (We will have no bias, even if you’re the mayor or the barangay captain. If you are proven to have violated the law, in proper due process, you will be held accountable),” he added.

The official also said that if the barangays are in need of a budget to assist their constituents, they only need to request it to their respective governor or mayors.

Two barangay captains in Taguig were already reprimanded for collecting P50 from residents before being allowed to go out of their barangay.

Meanwhile, Año reminded the Philippine National Police (PNP) and barangay officials to respect human rights while implementing curfew during the enhanced community quarantine.

He also advised the public to immediately report any erring or abusive public officials in their area. ⁠—AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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