FAKE OVP EMPLOYEES. Office of the Vice President (OVP) spokesperson Reynold Munsayac reiterates the call for vigilance against individuals identifying themselves as OVP representatives, in a press conference on Thursday (Sept. 8, 2022). He urged the public to immediately report these "fake employees" to authorities. (PNA photo by Alfred Frias)

MANILA – The Office of the Vice President (OVP) said Thursday that it has already processed PHP90,740,950 medical and burial assistance to Filipinos nationwide in less than 100 days.

In a press conference, OVP spokesperson Reynold Munsayac said their office has been continuously responding to those in need through its satellite offices in the country, which have so far recorded 7,507 applications.

Aid has already been distributed to over 3,000 of these applicants.

“The amount of PHP40,279,055.78 was already released to 3,499 recipients,” Munsayac said, adding that the OVP is also coordinating with dialysis centers.

“Nakikipag-usap na rin po ang ang OVP sa ilang dialysis centers upang tumanggap sila ng guarantee letter para sa mga pasyente na tinutulungan ng OVP. Marami na rin po ang nakatanggap ng libreng wheel chair mula sa OVP (The OVP is also now coordinating with several dialysis centers to accept guarantee letters for patients who are beneficiaries of the OVP. We have also distributed wheelchairs for free),” he said.

Along with the provision of medical aid, the OVP also vowed to increase the ridership of their Libreng Sakay program, which currently has five operating units, able to serve at least 11,000 passengers a week, and has catered to 43,805 commuters since its launching.

Exercise vigilance

Meanwhile, the OVP reiterated its warning against fake OVP employees using these programs for their own interests.

“We are again reminding the public to be vigilant and to report anomalous and criminal activities of persons pretending to be employees or claiming to be connected with the Office of the Vice President… Huwag po tayo magpaloko sa mga mapagsamantala at laging makipag-ugnayan sa mga otoridad kaugnay sa ganitong klaseng mga modus (Let us not fall into their deceitful schemes and always coordinate with authorities for similar schemes [encountered]),” he added.

Munsayac reiterated the call following the arrest of 41-year-old Joel Calis, alias John Carlos, in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.

He reportedly introduced himself as a staff from the OVP to solicit financial assistance with DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) Region 3 Projects for Senior Citizens, PWDs and Solo Parents as beneficiaries.

Authorities then received a complaint from the Office of City Mayor Arthur Robes, upon finding out his fake affiliation after verification, which led to Calis’ arrest for alleged "usurpation of authority and other forms of deceit."

Meanwhile, Munsayac clarified the statement of Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte, who was assigned as officer-in-charge while President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was on his state visits to Indonesia and Singapore, during her sit-down meeting with the state security, particularly her “show no mercy” reminder against terrorists and criminals.

The OVP made the statement after Duterte’s move was labeled as “overacting.”

“Sinasabi diyan kapag ‘yung kalaban ng estado, na ang intensyon ay sirain ‘yung ating bansa at ating pamahalaan, dapat i-implement talaga ng mabuti ‘yung batas laban sa kanila (It means that if the enemy of the state, whose intention is to bring down the country and the government, the law should be effectively implemented against them)… Show no mercy, ibig sabihin (meaning) the full force of the law should be (implemented) against these terrorists and criminals,” he explained.

Munsayac also insisted that law enforcement has a sufficient basis for all its operations.

Duterte earlier explained that she called for a sit-down meeting to enhance interagency linkages, maintain peace and order, and intensify cooperation.

She also assured the public that there is no current threat to the national security of the country. (PNA)