President Rodrigo Duterte said that he would not let the Department of Social Welfare and Development give the relief goods from the national government to the Mayors and other local officials during calamities.
This is what the President has announced during a press conference on Tuesday at the Malacanang Palace.
Duterte said that he tasked the incoming DSWD secretary Rolando Bautista, the retiring chief of the Philippine Army (PA) to do not let the Mayors handle the distribution of relief goods to their people.
According to him, he had a debate with the “acting chief” of DSWD on how the national government would distribute their help to the people.
The President said that the said “acting chief” insisted that the national government should give the relief goods to the Mayor instead of giving it directly to the peoople.
“Sabi ko sa kanya, ‘Look, why don’t you just give the money directly? It is national funds. It is national relief goods.’ Kung ibigay mo ‘yan sa mayor, dahan-dahan mawala ‘yan. I know. I’ve been mayor,” he said.
Duterte believes that if the national government let the mayors handle the cash subsidies, the local politicians might only give help to their supporters.
“Tapos sabi ko, once the list is validated, kayo ang magbigay sa pera and in times of emergencies, kayo ang mag-release sa goods. Maybe the mayor will help in the distribution. Eh ‘pag debate — ‘pag debate pa,” he said.
When got informed by the DSWD that such process was not based on Commission on Audit (COA) circular, he insisted that the commission was a “different entity” that should not interfere in the decision of the executive branch.
“We run the Executive department. I do not want COA interfering of how I distribute the goods and money to the people. For as long as they reach the intended beneficiaries, COA has nothing to do with it except to audit,” he said.
“Kasi kung ibigay mo sa mayor ang bigyan niya ‘yung mga supporters niya, in times of crisis ang bigyan niya, eh partisan eh.” he added.
“So this is not a place where you have that luxury of choice. It must be given to the intended persons, who would need it,” he said.
Meanwhile, Duterte also defended his decision to appoint another military man in the Cabinet, saying that they’re doing their task very well than civilian appointees.
“Gusto ko talaga kasi isang utos lang, nagagawa,” Duterte said.
“Sometimes they cut corners but you just have to defend them because it’s your order. Hindi naman kasi magsunod-sunod ka dito. It takes you forever. Ang gobyerno is really, really, really, very slow,” he added.