THE Commission on Audit (COA) has discovered that no guidelines in liquidating cash advances made as payment for beneficiaries of conditional cash transfer (CCT) is in place to safeguard the huge amount of cash allocated for the country’s pro-poor program.
In the audit report of the Philippine Postal Corp. (PPC), state auditors uncovered that a total of P460.42 million could not be traced at the state’s postal service, which acts as a conduit and payout center of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.
“Cash advances granted to the PPC Cluster Head Postmasters for the payment of CCT reported an unliquidated balance of P460.42 million,” the report noted.
On March 2012, the Land Bank of the Philippines and PPC entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for PPC “to act as [Land Bank’s] conduit” in the delivery of cash grants to the beneficiaries of the CCT.
The MOA prescribes that DSWD release the list of beneficiaries per barangay (village) and per municipality to Land Bank.
The head office of Land Bank shall transmit the payroll lists to the central office of the PPC, who is to forward the payroll list to respective postal areas.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) shall release the CCT funds to PPC through the Land Bank-Intramuros Branch two days before the scheduled payout.
During payout, the presence of a DSWD municipal roving bookkeeper and a Municipal Link are required as they are responsible in identifying the beneficiaries.
The DSWD personnel also had to release acknowledgement receipts and give the go signal to PPC personnel to proceed with the payout.
At this point, “the amount to be granted to cluster head postmasters for the payment of CCT benefits is considered as a cash advance from the central office,” the report noted.
At the end of the payout period, the payout postmaster shall return the unpaid amounts to the area head postmaster, who, in turn, will return the amount to the Land Bank.
At this point, liquidation is needed.
However, by 2012 yearend the revolving fund, which had an outstanding balance of P481 million has a P460 million amount of unliquidated cash, “of which pertained to unliquidated cash advances for CCT.”
Verification of records showed that concerned PPC officials disclosed that the CCT cash balances were not yet liquidated, even if the cash “were already returned or deposited to the Land Bank.”
The COA said that “there was difficulty” in tracing down the postmasters with unliquidated cash because recording mecha–nisms are not in place.
“There were no guidelines in the recording of receipts and liquidation of CCT funds,” the report read.
The COA said that this non-liquidation is a violation of a COA circular which prescribes that “a cash advance shall be reported on as soon as the purpose for which it was given has been served.”
In recommending future actions, the audit team told the PPC to “exert maximum efforts to liquidate and validate the liquidation of the CCT cash advances.”
Guidelines in the recording of transactions pertaining to CCT must also be provided and in place.