MANILA - The Department of Social Welfare and Development is investigating the alleged slow release of emergency funds to victims of Typhoon Nina in 2016 as revealed by the Commission on Audit.
In a statement, the DSWD said Secretary Rolando Bautista has ordered the executive committee of the department to address the audit of the disaster risk reduction management fund, which was submitted on January 9, 2019 to National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana who is also the Chairman of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council.
“As soon as the issue was brought to his attention, Sec. Bautista has convened the EXECOM officials and instructed concerned DSWD-Field Offices to provide the necessary documents pertaining to the transactions made for the implementation of the emergency shelter assistance. He added that the Department will conduct a thorough and objective inquiry vis-à-vis the COA report indicating poor liquidation and will report to the public immediately,” the DSWD said in the statement.
The COA said in the audit observation that there was “very poor percentage of liquidation of cash advances and fund transfers in the amount of P1.492 billion” in DSWD’s emergency shelter assistance program which indicates “too much delay” in the distribution of cash assistance for Typhoon Nina victims.
The DSWD noted in its statement that the department is “under new management” and is currently undergoing a reorganization to ensure transparency and efficiency in its delivery of services.
“We assure the public that the Department will follow the recommendations of the COA on how to resolve the issue. Rest assured that funds entrusted to the Department are spent judiciously for the rightful beneficiaries,” the DSWD said.
A retired army commander and former chief of President Duterte’s Presidential Security Group, Bautista was appointed to the DSWD in October last year.