MANILA – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Wednesday said it will act on reports of irregularities on the enforcement of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) by local government units (LGUs) amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
“Director Eric B. Distor has already ordered all regional and district offices and all Manila operating divisions to conduct investigations on this in coordination with LGUs and other counterparts,” NBI spokesperson Ferdinand Lavin said in a message to reporters.
The NBI’s move came after President Rodrigo Duterte warned local government officials who are misappropriating funds for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) response that they will be slapped with criminal charges.
He also vowed to run after local officials who reportedly embezzle, hoard or divert money, food, and other supplies intended for aid to rightful beneficiaries.
“The NBI is investigating and filing charges against local government officials who wilfully disregard, contravene or violate national guidelines on community quarantine set by the IATF-EID (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infections Diseases),” the President said in his first weekly report to Congress on the use of special powers under Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
Earlier, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) urged all LGUs to fast-track the distribution of the Social Amelioration Card (SAC) form sand come up with a master list of qualified beneficiaries.
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año earlier said government assistance should reach the beneficiaries as soon as possible as the economy is on a standstill leaving millions of Filipinos with no source of employment or livelihood.
Some 18 million low-income families all over the country shall receive a special subsidy consisting of food items and cash amounting to PHP5,000 to a maximum of PHP8,000 a month depending on the minimum wage of the particular region to provide for the basic needs of poor families, based on the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act. (PNA)