THE Philippine Postal Corp. (PHLPOST) used P165 million in Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) funds to pay the insurance premiums of its officials and employees in 2011, the Commission on Audit (COA) said in a report.
In a 2013 report, the COA questioned the use of DAP funds which are intended as an economic stimulus, but which PPC used to settle its account with the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).
Of the P644 million in DAP funds which PHLPOST received in 2011, P479 million was used to repurchase its property in Quezon City, which was foreclosed by a commercial bank after it failed to settle its loan obligations, COA said.
State auditors reported that the remaining balance of P165 million was used to pay GSIS premiums.
None was paid for Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC) premiums contributions and Franking Privileges for which part of the funds were intended.
State auditors sought clarification from Budget Secretary Florencio Abad if the Budget department authorized the use of the DAP funds for the payment of contributions to the GSIS.
Undersecretary Luz Cantor in a letter replied that, “since the release of P100 million forms part of PPC’s revenue, PPC has the discretion to identify and settle its priority obligations.
In the instant case, PPC utilized the whole amount of P165 million to settle its unpaid obligations with the GSIS.”
This developed as Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Wednesday asked the Senate to look into the reported P5-billion unliquidated cash advances of PHLPOST. The money was intended for the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program being carried out by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
According to Santiago, PHLPOST was used by the DSWD as conduit for the CCT component of its 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 checkups.
PHLPOST mail stations were used as payout centers where beneficiaries of the CCT
program could get their monthly dole-outs from the government.
Santiago noted that a recent COA report found that the unliquidated funds in the hands of PHLPOST postmasters “exposed these funds to malversation, theft, or other risks.”
Santiago also wants the Senate committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural development chaired by Sen. Nancy Binay to also investigate other conduits used by the DSWD for its CCT program.
“I would not be surprised if PHLPOST is not the only monetary conduit at fault,” Santiago said.
The COA report noted that the P4.936 billion in unliquidated advances were 1,000 percent more than the P449.841 million unliquidated balance that PHLPOST incurred in 2012.