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DILG to probe Manila’s 27 ‘ghost barangays’


The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) vowed to probe the report of the Commission on Audit (CoA) that Manila has included 27 non-existent barangays as recipients of real property tax shares amounting to P108.733 million.

DILG officer-in-charge Eduardo Año made the statement after the CoA last month chided Manila local government officials for delaying the release of P952.225 million in tax shares of 896 barangays.

“The release of the quarterly Real Property Tax shares for the 896 ba­rangays of the city for CY 2017 in the amount of R952.225 million was de­layed by 56 to 93 days contrary to Sec­tion 27 (D) of RA 7160,” the CoA said.

In a press briefing in Malacañang, Año said that there will be no sacred cows in the government’s campaign against corruption, noting how Presi­dent Duterte himself despises the act.

“Magka-conduct ng investigation sa mga report na ‘yan. Alam niyo na­man ang emphasis natin sa corruption. Wala tayong sasantuhin dito,” he said Wednesday.

“We just need information, data, then we will launch an investigation,” he added.

To prove his point, Año said that around 250 local chief executives are being investigated under their Bantay Kaagapay program based on complaints made to the 8888 hotline.

The CoA, in its 2017 annual audit report for Manila, noted adverse audit observations that put to task local of­ficials for assigning private individuals and volunteers to collect vehicle parking fees and placing at least P639 million trust fund in time deposit.

Under the Local Government Code, LGUs are mandated to release to the barangays their respective Real Prop­erty Tax share within give days after the end of each quarter.

During the 4th quarter of 2016, the Manila LGU failed to distribute the share of barangays amounting to P652,436,000 on time, noting a delay of at least 56 days.

At least P2 billion in barangay shares were also withheld by Manila for at least 80 days during the first quarter of 2017. (Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)