THE Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said that its project of posting “drop boxes” in the villages (barangay) to allow the public to report on drug suspects would cost P500 million.
“That would be P500 million. That was the same as last year’s budget when we weren’t able to start right away with the project. Early this year, we used the budget left for the project from last year,” DILG Officer-In-Charge Catalino Cuy said on radio on Wednesday.
Cuy said the P500 million would be used to pay for the wages of the provincial directors and facilitators for the project. He said the facilitators would be paid with “minimum wage”.
He said these facilitators “would collect the complaints and suggestions inside the drop boxes. They would give them to the provincial directors. Then they would turn them all to us.”
However, Cuy clarified that the lawmakers have not yet approved the P500-million budget for 2017. He said the agency was willing to cooperate with the Senate to improve the project.
Cuy denied the news that a drop box in Tacloban amounted to P1,150. He said the agency would not provide for the drop boxes. According to him, it was up to the facilitators to provide the boxes.
“Any kind of box would do. Even a shoe box is okay. It’s up to them what box to use as long as complaints and suggestions could be put in there,” Cuy said.
According to Cuy, reports inside the drop boxes need not be detailed. He said the name of the alleged criminal and the brief complaint against the suspect would do.
“As long as the content of the report is believable, it’s okay. It should not just put a name. The complainant should put an actionable information to pass,” Cuy said.
In an August 29 memorandum, DILG ordered local government units to post “drop boxes” in villages to collect names of alleged drug suspects from random strangers.
After the project received negative feedback from netizens and even residents from Quezon City, where drop boxes had been placed, Cuy said the boxes were merely for “suggestions”.
PNP Chief Ronald “Bato Dela Rosa commended the drop box, calling it a tool to gather additional information from people “afraid to talk”.