COA tells DSWD: P1.5-B in cash grants remain idle

Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 13 2016 10:23 PM

MANILA - The Commission on Audit (COA) has cited the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for unresolved issues on the implementation of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps, which resulted to delayed delivery of assistance to beneficiaries.

In the Consolidated Audit Report on Official Development Assistance Programs and Projects for 2015, COA said DSWD should implement management review control process and enhanced system to ensure that only the eligible beneficiaries will receive cash assistance and that the grants will be given on time.

This, after the audit agency found P1.579 billion in cash grants which remain idle in the Land Bank of the Philippines. The funds supposedly given from 2010 and 2015 were left uncollected because the beneficiaries were either non-compliant, delisted or unpaid.

COA also said the unwithdrawn funds with the LBP indicates that "there was no immediate need for assistance."

"This involves 79,530 accounts with undrawn balances of P2,801 to P102,000 of which 386,435 accounts with cumulative undrawn balance of P139.008 million has no withdrawal since the accounts were opened," the report read.

A total of P6.391 billion funds paid out through LBP also remain unliquidated, including P3.322 billion transactions from 2008 to 2014.

State auditors also noted other unresolved deficiencies which were already noted in previous audit reports, including the complaint of beneficiaries' failure to receive assistance after being excluded or suspended from the payroll, while others got assistance despite being not part of the Grievance Payroll System. 

Aside from this, COA found that the names 327 household beneficiaries were duplicated.

COA has also asked DSWD to limit the Over-The-Counter (OTC) payment of grants in areas with no available ATM facilities to avoid incurring unnecessary bank service fees and administrative expenses.

Meanwhile, the audit agency lauded the program for helping 333,673 beneficiaries graduate.