MANILA — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Thursday said it would look into its supposed failure to roll out nearly P2 billion worth of financial aid.
The Commission on Audit (COA), in its annual audit report, flagged the agency for failing to distribute P1.9 billion of cash assistance under the Social Amelioration Program.
DSWD Secretary Erwin Tulfo said some P1.7 billion has been returned to the Bureau of Treasury.
"Paiimbestigahan ko po ito, ano ang nangyari? Pero initially mayroon na akong report dito parang nagkakaroon daw ng confusion. Hindi pa po malinaw pero I will keep on investigating," Tulfo said in a public briefing.
(I will have this investigated. What happened? But initially, I received a report on this, there seemed to be some confusion. It is so far unclear, but I will keep on investigating.)
"Naibalik naman ang pera sa Bureau of Treasury, hindi naman talaga siya nawala. Yun nga lang, ang nakakalungkot, hindi naibigay sa tao noong kinakailangan ng tao yung budget," he added.
(The money has already been returned to the Bureau of Treasury. It was not lost, but it's sad that this was not distributed to those who needed it.)
He said most of the undistributed SAP came from the agency's offices in Metro Manila and the Visayas regions.
The DSWD chief said he would need to assign personnel to look into the matter, though this manpower could be used for the agency's other projects.
This is not the first time state auditors flagged the DSWD for its failure to distribute cash assistance.
Last year, state auditors spotted some P780 million unused funds meant for SAP. The amount could have been given to an estimated 139,300 beneficiaries, the COA said.