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Metro

Isko warns corrupt barangay chiefs

Pat C. Santos

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Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso warned yesterday that he would prosecute barangay officials who would mishandle, misuse or steal public funds.

Projects being broken up to evade bidding

Domagoso revealed that he has already received complaints against village leaders siphoning off taxpayers’ money by conniving with city budget and accounting employees.

Speaking at the National Press Club, Domagoso said barangay projects had been bid off in the past to favored contractors, including the relatives and friends of barangay officials.

“I am warming all barangay chairmen that you will be my next target after I am done cleaning the city,” he said.

Some corrupt barangay officials had also been compartmentalizing projects to use as a loophole the rule that project costs of P50,000 and below need not be bid out, he said.

A P400,000 project may be broken up into eight parts so it doesn’t have to be subjected to bidding, Domagoso explained.

The mayor hinted that at least four barangay chiefs in Tondo are also being probed for project irregularities, including the use of materials recycled from past projects.

The practice of hiring street sweepers and tanods (village guards) and then firing them so their salaries can be drawn by barangay officials had also reached his attention, the mayor said.

Even projects on the declogging of canals are being turned into moneymaking schemes by some barangay executives, Domagoso said.