Solon wants conditional cash transfer program probe

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 09 2014 03:42 PM | Updated as of Jan 09 2014 11:42 PM

MANILA - A progressive lawmaker is renewing her call for a congressional investigation into the government's centerpiece conditional cash transfer program following the release of an audit report citing some irregularities in the doleout program.

In a statement, Gabriela Rep. Emmi de Jesus renewed calls for Congress leaders to act on her House Resolution 332, which directs the Committee on Poverty Alleviation to conduct inquiries on the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

HR 332 was filed last year by De Jesus. Thirteen other lawmakers signed on, including Minority Floor Leader Rep. Ronaldo Zamora.

The 2012 COA report stated that P50.15 million were granted to 7,782 families whose names do not match the list of the Department of Social Welfare and Development's list of validated and registered household beneficiaries of the National Household Targeting Office (NHTO).

"This COA report is ample proof that Congress should review President Aquino's dubious flagship poverty program," De Jesus said.

In its 2012 annual audit report of the DSWD, the COA found that an audit of the conditional cash transfer payroll for the period of January to August 2012 totaling to P18,683,963,000 revealed "duplication of names for 4,443 HH beneficiaries for grants totaling P17.435,700 and additional service charge of P184,140.00."

It added that the double entries reported in the 2011 audit report were still included in the 2012 observation, which raised concerns on the efficiency of the program.

It said the actual overpayments due to double entries paid to the beneficiaries through cash cards amounted to P3,113,500. Possible overpayment through over the counter transactions amounted to P5604350, COA added.