Filipino officials barred from putting ‘obnoxious’ names on lockdown relief aid

A family receiving relief goods in San Juan City, Metro Manila. <i>Photo: George Calvelo / ABS-CBN News</i>
A family receiving relief goods in San Juan City, Metro Manila. Photo: George Calvelo / ABS-CBN News

Apparently, basic decency still needs to be enforced.

The Department of Interior and Local Government today said that it has banned local officials from (tastelessly) plastering their names and photos on the relief aid being sent to low-income families during the Luzon-wide lockdown.

Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya alleged in an interview with radio station DZMM that village officers are distributing the cash aid from the national government using envelopes bearing their names.

“This is not the time for politics; this is the time for public service,” Malaya said, and added that Interior Secretary Eduardo Año has ordered local government units (LGUs) to stop the practice.

“Secretary Año has released an order to our LGUs that they have to stop with the obnoxious [signs]. No names, no pictures, and they should let their villages handle the aid distribution,” he added in Filipino.

Under the Bayanihan [Camaraderie] Act of 2020, some 18 million low-income families affected by the pandemic are expected to receive a cash aid of up to PHP8,000 (US$157).

Village officials are required to submit a list of poor families, which will then be vetted and approved by the Department of Social Welfare and Development. Beneficiaries include former overseas workers, single parents, persons with disabilities, and the elderly.

The distribution of cash and food packs has started today in two villages in Tondo, Manila and Parañaque, Malaya said. Village officials in other areas are expected to announce the date of distribution of the money and food, and residents will be required to prepare identification cards to claim assistance.

Earlier this week, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go denied allegations that he has been sending donations to hospitals, following unverified posts circulating on social media that medical equipment bearing his name have been given to facilities.

“Let me state this in very clear and unmistakable language: claims circulating that I am involved in handling donations intended for the government are UTTERLY FALSE, DELIBERATE DISINFORMATION, AND BLACK PROPAGANDA,” he wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday. The senator claimed that the alleged fake photos were meant to discredit him.


Photos of a vehicle carrying donations bearing Go’s names were also shared by netizens, who appealed, “No to politicking, no to obnoxiousness.”

Go added that he is not involved in the operations of the Office of Civil Defense, which handles all health-related donations under the COVID-19 act.



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