Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Soliman on Friday said the P1.8 billion from the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) allocated to her department has been liquidated, contrary to findings of the Commission on Audit (COA).
Soliman, who called a news briefing at the Department of Social Welfare and Development headquarters, said the P1.31 billion transferred by the DSWD to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) and used for cash-for-training programs had been accounted for. That comes up to more than 90 percent, she noted.
Still unliquidated are the P400 million of DAP funds for Tesda and another P500 million transferred to the Commission on Higher Education (CHed) for student grants.
The COA had red-flagged missing database entries in the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program. But Soliman said the over 364,000 beneficiaries of the government’s CCT were all accounted for.
According to her, 256,663 of the beneficiaries were not in the National Housing Targeting System (NHTS) database because they were part of the “modified” CCT.
The modified CCT covers street families with no homes and indigenous people, she said.
Soliman added that COA was not able to account for 107,373 regular CCT beneficiaries because the commission had “limited viewing access” to the NHTS database.
In its 2013 Annual Audit Report that it released earlier this week, COA said it found double entries, data errors, delayed cash releases and liquidation issues in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, or 4Ps, the administration’s flagship poverty-alleviation program.
“Duplicate names for 4,320 beneficiaries in the 4Ps payroll in the amount of P46.502 million for CY 2013 not only resulted in incurrence of additional costs for the double payment of grants, but also misstated the Cash and Donation accounts,” the audit body added.
It said more than P2 billion from the CCT program was either given to unqualified recipients or noted as unclaimed grants.
Last July, the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional certain provisions in the DAP, the administration’s economic stimulus program.
Soliman said the DSWD will introduce innovations to make implementation of the CCT more efficient.
The program has its own grievance redress mechanism that captures, validates, investigates and responds to complaints received.
“We have also included third-party monitoring by involving civil society organizations (CSOs) who are serving as our watchdog as part of our ‘Bantay, Gabay, Tulay and Kaagapay’ framework of partnership with this sector,” Soliman said.
Pantawid Pamilya utilizes the conditional cash transfer scheme where qualified households receive grants provided they comply with certain conditions such as attendance of children aged 3-18 years old in school; regular health check-ups for children aged 0-5 years or pregnant member of the household and attendance in monthly Family Development Sessions.
To date, the program covers 4.4 million households.
With REINA TOLENTINO AND AILEEN RESPICIO-ALEJO