MANILA, Philippines – Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman on Friday said irregularities in the government’s conditional cash transfer (CCT) program identified during the Arroyo administration have already been corrected.
Soliman said the latest Commission on Audit (COA) report on the CCT program audited transactions of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4P) during the years 2007 to 2009 before President Benigno Aquino assumed as Chief Executive.
“Bahaw na report na po ito. Noon pang 2007-2009 na ginawa ng COA noong 2010, natanggap namin ng 2011 at nagawan na hakbang para makorek,” she said.
Similarly, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the COA's latest audit on the CCT refers to the year 2010, with the first half of the year still dealing with the Arroyo administration.
Lacierda said the DSWD, under Soliman, has taken steps to improve and address the loopholes in the system by delisting ineligible and non-complying beneficiaries for instance.
"All of the concerns have been addressed. That was a 2010 audit by the way. It's not a 2011 audit. So the audit for 2011 has not been performed yet. It's being done, but there is no report yet," Lacierda said.
"Malinis na siya but syempre tinitingan pa rin 'yan. Administratively, kailangan may monitoring 'yan e," he added.
Based on the report, out of 1,400 sampled 4Ps beneficiaries, 96 were not extremely poor and were earning income. This translates to about 6 percent of those sampled, equivalent to 206,000 households of the total 3 million current beneficiaries of the CCT.
COA said the objectives of the program may not be fully achieved if the benefits will not be received by the intended beneficiaries.
Soliman said they have already taken measures to remedy the problem when they received the report in 2010. "Nade-list na namin yung mga hindi tumupad sa kasunduan, may 29,000 na (beneficiaries),’ she said.
The DSWD chief said they are now investigating 141,000 more beneficiaries whose membership to the program may be questionable. "Baka hindi na sila mahirap," she said.
Third party monitoring
She said the department has a third party monitoring team, consisting mainly of faith-based organizations, that provides feedback on the status of the members in their respective communities.
She also said the alleged P600 million unliquidated amounts from the fund of CCT have been accounted for.
"Ito po ay na-account na naming. Amin pang naisoli sa treasury department ay about P100 million,’ she said.
She clarified that the DSWD is not handling the money for the program, and that the Land Bank of the Philippines manages the transaction among the beneficiaries.
"Ito pong mga nakitang kahinaan may paliwanag po ito at walang intensyon na manloko ang mga taga DSWD," she said.
"Ginawan na po ito ng mga hakbang at naiwasto na po ito." -- With a report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News