MANILA–Undersecretary Catalino Cuy, officer-in-charge (OIC) of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), ordered an investigation on the alleged software project for the MASA MASID (Mamamayang Ayaw sa Anomalya, Mamamayang Ayaw sa Iligal na Droga), the Deparment’s flagship project on anti-illegal drugs.
Cuy’s directive came after receiving reports that one of its partners in the anti-illegal drugs drive, the Drug Abuse Warning Inc. (DAWN), allegedly collected significant amount of money from different barangays as payment for the MASA MASID Database and Reporting System (MMDRS) software and hardware.
“We have received reports about the irregular activities of DAWN which may be considered as material misrepresentation and violation to the agreement it has entered with the DILG. For this, I have ordered an investigation on the matter and pending thereof, prudence dictates that the aforesaid partnership with DAWN be suspended until further notice,” said Cuy in a statement released Tuesday.
Earlier, the DILG entered into a memorandum of agreement with DAWN wherein the latter offered to donate a data gathering and analysis software system for MASA MASID to monitor drug-related incidents in the community at no cost to the government.
The DILG boss has already suspended its partnership with DAWN after getting reports that there is an alleged charge of Php75,000 for each set of MMDRS software and hardware on all barangays.
“We would like to emphasize that the DILG, in entering into a MOA with DAWN, was not in any way engaged with a procurement of software or hardware or any other goods. It is very clear in the MOA that the DAWN system shall be donated to the Department at no cost to the DILG,” he pointed out.
According to Cuy, the procurement by the barangays of the MMDRS hardware was not mentioned in the MOA nor was this disclosed during the meetings with the DILG LLLS during the review of the MOA.
He specifically directed Atty. Romeo Benitez, OIC of the DILG Legal and Legislative Liaison Service (LLLS), and Ms. Sara Jane M. Cerezo, OIC of the DILG Internal Audit Service (IAS) to lead the probe on the MASA MASID software project and to submit a comprehensive report on their findings and recommendations.
He likewise advised DILG central, regional and field personnel as well as local chief executives on the suspension of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) with DAWN regarding the implementation of the MASA MASID Information and Reporting System.
In January 2017, the DILG and the DAWN forged a MOA to work together to strengthen the government’s anti-illegal drugs program and campaign.
Under the said MOA, the DAWN offered to donate a copyrighted public surveillance system called DAWN 2016 Series which shall gather data on suspected drug users and pushers in communities and electronically forward the same to concerned government and law enforcement agencies for further verification and appropriate action.