PROVINCE OF BUKIDNON – Governor Jose Ma. R. Zubiri, Jr. recently issued a memorandum order to suspend the Assistance to Indigent Families in Crisis Situation (AIFCS) over allegations of rampant to-be-benefi-ciary abuse and deceit perpetuated by cor-rupt individuals.
The governor furnished copy of the suspension memorandum to Vice-Go-vernor Alex. Calingasan, the Sangguniang Panlala-wigan members, Provincial Treasurer Luis Oro, Pro-vincial Accountant Romeo Hernandez, Provincial Budget Officer Consesa Gamao and Provincial So-cial Welfare and Develop-ment Officer Arsenio Alagenio.
Zubiri’s memorandum cited that he stopped the grant of AIFCS because of the abuses and questionable incidents involving the said program.
A source who requested anonymity said that one incident involved a govern-ment employee trying to ploy the program officers into giving financial aid. The said employee allegedly hired a child to pose as an indigent asking help for his family. All could have gone well until the child’s mother caused enough trouble to attract suspicions from authorities.
Another case, the source said, was when Governor Zubiri reportedly issued a slip granting P200.00 as AIFCS to an indigent. Along the process, the amount in the slip became P2,000.00. Provincial officials are still investigating who did the tampering.
A provincial official said that there are many more untoward incidents happened, thus prompting the governor on this decision. He revealed that many kept coming back asking for money, even at the lousiest of reasons. He said others would even get mad after receiving meager amounts.
It would be better to hold the program temporarily until sufficient safeguards are in place, he added.
Some indigents waiting at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan hall were told of the memorandum to their dismay. They condemned those people involved in the abuses.
The memorandum instructed the above-mentioned officials to stop granting of AIFCS effective on August 14, 2006 until the investigation is concluded. The order shall remain effective unless revoked or amended. (NEWSWATCH)