By Cip D.C. Cabrera
MALACAÑAN, Manila — In a bid to put an end to reported fraudulent solicitation schemes involving unscrupulous individuals, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has notified the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to act and apprehend fraudsters and scammers who have been posing as DBM personnel to dupe their unwary victims.
In a letter sent to interior and local government secretary Benjamin ‘Benhur’ Abalos Jr., budget and management secretary Amenah Pangandaman requested the assistance of the DILG, specifically in cautioning local government units (LGUs) through their respective local chief executives (LCE) against the said fraudulent individuals or organized groups behind the recent scams.
“These scammers would draft documents and would ask local chief executives to sign their fake requests, identify contractors, and ask for money in exchange for the supposed expedited release of funds for certain programs and projects,” Pangandaman pointed out as she asked requested the help of the DILG to inform the public against dealing with individuals representing themselves to be officials or personnel of the DBM, as well as those acting as middlemen to earn or solicit money for the false guarantee of expedited release of Local Government Support Fund (LGSF)-Financial Assistance (FA) under the General Appropriations Act.
The budget chief likewise sought the help of the NBI to track down these fraudsters, conduct an investigation, and hold them accountable for their criminal activities. She likewise assured the NBI of the agency’s full cooperation, including providing leads relative to the nefarious scheme.
In ending, though, Pangandaman stressed the need for the public to be cautious in their dealings with people or entities they are not fully acquainted with even as she reminded the citizenry to avoid falling victim to these fraudulent transactions and assured to continue protecting the public interest and the country’s coffers.
“Muli po kaming nananawagan sa ating mga kababayan na makipag-transact lamang po sa official channels ng DBM. Rest assured that the DBM will exert all efforts and employ the fullest extent of the law to identify, apprehend, and file charges against these deceitful individuals,” she concluded.
Budget and management secretary Amenah Pangandaman. (Photo courtesy GMA News Online)