The Senate reconvenes this week, resuming investigation of allegedly overpriced infrastructure projects in Makati City (Metro Manila) implicating Vice President Jejomar Binay.
It will begin its inquiry into alleged irregularities in implementation of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
On January 22, the Senate blue ribbon sub-committee headed by Sen. Aquilino Pimentel 3rd will reopen its probe of alleged overpricing of the Makati City projects that were completed Binay was the city mayor.
On the same day, the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development headed by by Sen. Nancy Binay will start its investigation of the CCT implementation.
It has invited DSWD Secretary Corazon Soliman, and other government officials involved in the implementation of the anti-poverty program.
Senator Binay’s decision to conduct the inquiry was based on a resolution filed last year by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who asked that a proper Senate panel look into the P5-billion unliquidated cash advances of the Philippines Postal Corp. (PhilPost) intended for the CCT program.
According to Santiago, the Social Welfare department used PhilPost as conduit for the CCT program, or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), which provides cash incentives to marginalized families to encourage them to send their children to school and get regular maternal check-ups.
PhilPost mail stations were used as payout centers where beneficiaries of the CCT program could get their monthly cash from the government.
Santiago, in calling for an investigation, cited a Commission on Audit (COA) report about the unliquidated funds in the hands of PhilPost postmasters that could be “exposed to malversation, theft or other risks.”
In her resolution, she also asked Sen. Binay’s committee to probe, too, other monetary conduits used by the DSWD in executing one of the administration’s flagship programs noting that Philpost could not be the only monetary conduit at fault.
Binay, in a recent interview, said looking into the CCT issue is a way of assuring that the government’s multibillion-peso programs are really benefiting the poorest families in the country.
Meanwhile, the Senate blue ribbon sub-committee inquiry into the allegedly corrupt practices of the Vice President is expected to present new issues and evidence against the accused.
Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano, said he had seen new evidence against Binay that has not been presented in past sub-committee hearings.