Duterte offers P30,000 reward for reporting officials who steal coronavirus aid

President Rodrigo Duterte is offering thousands of pesos to Filipinos who will report local officials pocketing financial assistance and aid meant to help the poor during the coronavirus outbreak.  

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced this after Duterte delivered an address on the government's coronavirus response late Monday night, May 4. 

"Siya (Durterte) po ay magbibigay ng pabuya ng P30,000 sa lahat po na mag-re-report ng local officials na kumakana o kumukurakot ng mga ayuda para sa mahihirap," Roque said.  

(He [Duterte] will give a reward of P30,000 to everyone who will report local officials who pocket and steal assistance for the poor.)  

Roque said reports should be forwarded to the government's 8888 complaint hotline. Those who will report should leave their name and telephone number in order to collect the reward later, if applicable. 

Prior to the announcement, Duterte ordered mayors to review the ranks of those they employed to distribute emergency aid to communities.  

The President proceeded to single out a certain "Danilo Flores" who was a barangay captain from Hagonoy, Bulacan. Duterte said Flores supposedly stole aid from the government.

"Ang putangina mo, nakuha ka pa ng television…. Nakuha ka na hinihingi mo. Mahirap na nga. Ikaw may trabaho ka na, kagawad ka. Putangina, kukunin mo pa ang pera ng mahirap,” Duterte said.  

(This son of a bitch, you were caught on television.... You were caught asking for…. They're already poor. You already have a job, you're a barangay councilor. Son of a bitch, you still want to take money from the poor.") 

In Duterte's weekly report to Congress on the implementation of the Bayanihan law, the Department of Social Welfare and Development – which oversees the emergency subsidy program – said delays in delivering aid were due to the exposure of some staff to the coronavirus; threats received from local officials in some areas; and "slow processing" of aid by local government units (LGUs) arising from politics and inaccurate lists of beneficiaries.  

As of April 30, only 207 out of 1,634 LGUs completed 100% of payouts in their respective localities. 

Latest figures showed the Philippines has 9,485 coronavirus cases as of Monday, including 623 deaths and 1,315 recoveries. – Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs and is the lead reporter on the coronavirus pandemic. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.

image