Do not use gov’t programs, activities in election campaign — DILG
MANILA, Philippines — Do not use government programs as election propaganda, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) ordered local and national candidates.
This was the call on Easter Sunday of DILG spokesperson Jonathan Malaya for all candidates running for various positions in the upcoming elections.
“Huwag po tayong magpa-epal sa mga proyekto ng gobyerno lalo na ngayong panahon ng kampanya,” Malaya said in a statement.
“The Code of Conduct of Government Officials requires public officials and employees to be more circumspect in their activities especially during this campaign season,” he added.
The statement of Malaya stemmed after the agency received reports from other national government agencies, including the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), that some local elective officials are “exerting undue influence” in using government programs and activities for the purpose of indirectly endorsing their own candidacies for this year’s midterm elections.
He also noted that some politicians attempted to hijack the distribution of DSWD’s Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) program.
According to Malaya, Section 4 of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees states that every public official and employee should uphold public interest over and above personal interest.
“The payouts of the DSWD, among other programs, is apolitical. We cannot and will not tolerate any politician to speak during the release of assistance. The payout cannot be linked to any candidate or political party,” he said.
“The DILG is dismayed that politicians are using the payout to advance their own political ambitions despite appeals from the DSWD not to do so. The UCT is a nationally funded program, therefore LGU officials cannot claim credit for it,” he added.
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año then warned the public against politicians who are using government programs and activities for campaigning purposes.
“We must be very careful in our actions this election period since we are non-partisan,” Año said. /je
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