BAGUIO CITY: The Commission on Audit (COA) has found that over P19 million were left unreleased by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to supposed beneficiaries of the conditional cash transfer in the highland Cordillera region.
This amid admissions even by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) that the intensified implementation of the CCT or “Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program” somewhat diminished poverty incidence here.
From 19.2 percent family poverty incidence in CAR in 2009, 595 families left the poverty line in 2012, decreasing the family poverty incidence to an estimated 17.5 percent, the latest by the Philippine Statistics Authority-National Statistical Coordination Board in the region said.
But according to COA’s Audit Observation Memorandum number 14-006 dated March 4, 2014, there was a total of P19.17 million in unreleased funds meant for CCT beneficiaries in the Cordillera.
A CCT beneficiary family receives P500 monthly per child with a maximum of three qualified children. If computed, there were at least than 6,300 children-beneficiaries in the Cordillera deprived of the monthly dole-out for about six months with the unreleased multi-million cash.
There are around 59,000 family-beneficiaries of the CCT program in CAR.
Janet Armas, DSWD-Cordillera office-in-charge, attributed the lapses to, among others, topographical challenges in the highland region. She cited that there are beneficiaries in Apayao province that still have to travel to Gattaran, Cagayan to get their cash grants.
Such challenges the DSWD office is facing, however, gives its personnel the motivation to achieve the objectives of the CCT. So on Thursday morning, the DSWS re-launched the Kaya Ko ang Pagbabago! campaign that calls for the support of the partners of the agencies to push the CCT in the region.
The Kaya Ko ang Pagbabago! campaign will also highlight the positive changes in the lives of the vulnerable and poor.