The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has issued a warning to all local government officials and the general public against scammers going around the country falsely claiming that they could have people appointed as OIC-barangay and local officials under a federal system of government and a revolutionary government (RevGov) and asking for money in return.
In a meeting with all DILG Regional Directors on Wednesday, DILG Officer-in-Charge Catalino S. Cuy said that numerous reports have reached the central and field offices regarding various groups masquerading to be affiliated or permitted by the government or by the DILG to campaign for federalism or RevGov and claiming that they could have people appointed to local positions.
Cuy directed all DILG field offices to issue a strong warning to all LGUs about this scam that has been going on for some time.
According to aggregated reports, scammers lure both incumbent and aspiring local government officials into being included in a supposed priority list of people to be appointed should the country shift to a federal form of government or undergo a RevGov. In exchange, unwitting victims give money to con groups for membership fees or donations.
Cuy says that President Rodrigo Duterte himself already made it clear during a November 21 event in Taguig City that claims that a Revolutionary Government will soon be established are all false.
“Sabi nga po ng Pangulo, huwag po tayong maniwala sa RevGov dahil wala tayong makukuha diyan and let us focus on building our country,” Cuy says.
Newly installed DILG Assistant Secretary for Communications and Capacity Development Jonathan E. Malaya encourages the public to get in touch with his office or with the Local Government Academy (LGA) at telephone numbers (02) 6389649 or 6341906 local 116 or via email to [email protected] and [email protected] on concerns on the government’s federalism campaign.
On Wednesday, Malaya has been assigned as the administrator of the DILG’s federalism program as per DILG Order No. 2017-1212.
“I urge all DILG field officers to be vigilant and proactive and to immediately warn all barangay captains and local government officials in their respective jurisdictions of the scams being perpetrated by these unscrupulous individuals,” he says.
“This scam is all over the country — from Cagayan Valley to Cotabato, from Metro Manila to Samar. The groups go by many names,” he points out.
“Nakakalungkot na may mga kababayan tayong sumasakay sa pederalismo para makapanlinlang at nagpapanggap na inatasan sila ng DILG o ng Pangulo na mangampanya kaugnay sa pederalismo,” he laments.
“Wala pong katotohanang magtatalaga ang DILG ng OICs sa kahit anumang local government positions. Kapag hiningan kayo ng pera o anumang bagay o pabor, magtaka na po kayo at agad ipaalam ang mga grupong ito sa pinakamalapit na DILG field office sa inyong lugar,” he warns.
In September this year, the DILG announced the campaign dubbed as “One Nation, One Government: Transition to Federalism Project” which shall accredit civil society organizations (CSOs) as well as resource speakers as federalism advocacy partners.
Malaya says that only accredited CSOs are authorized to use the DILG logo or the DILG name in their respective activities.
He says that all federalism-related information campaign initiatives of DILG operating units, regional and field offices, as well as local governance stakeholders, are implemented within the standards and parameters set by the DILG in terms of content, activities, and resource management.
Activities include, among others, orientation sessions, seminars, knowledge exchange sessions, focus group discussions, forums, and symposia.
Further, the Local Government Academy, as the training arm of the DILG, is responsible for training resource persons on DILG’s key messages and content parameters for all federalism information campaign activities.
Resource persons who successfully complete the training shall be issued certificates and their names will be included in the national database of resource speakers on federalism for the DILG’s Transition to Federalism Project.
Local government units (LGUs) may also conduct their own federalism information campaign activities in coordination with DILG field offices whose staff will guide LGUs on the key messages and content to be delivered to ensure that these are consistent with those set by the Department.