DSWD assures P5.3-million fund for ex-rebels accounted for

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 19 2021 03:15 PM | Updated as of Aug 19 2021 03:43 PM

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MANILA - The Department of Social Welfare and Development said Thursday the P5.3 million worth of financial assistance given to rebel returnees were accounted for.

The agency will submit original copies of documents to the Commission on Audit (COA) to certify the authenticity of their recipients, DSWD Undersecretary Rene Glen Paje said. 

This, after state auditors flagged the DSWD in its 2020 report for "inappropriate documentation" of funds turned over to 330 former rebels.

"Wala naman pong problema sa accounting. Ang problema lang po ay 'yung supporting document niya na certified true copy lamang," he told Teleradyo.

(There was no problem in the accounting [of funds]. The problem lies in the supporting document that is only a certified true copy.)

The agency released P1.28 million to rebels under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) while P4.04 million were given for the Livelihood Settlement Grant (LSG) assistance. 

Paje explained that COA required original copies of documents to attest to the identity and eligibility of beneficiaries. These include certification from the Joint AFP-PNP Intelligence Committee, a body created by the military and police that should be the source of authenticity of names of former rebels.

"Ito ang isa sa mga dokumentong nagpapatunay na sila ay talagang galing o nagmula sa hanay ng mga rebelde at nagbalik-loob at gustong magsimula ng panibagong buhay," he said.

(This is one of the documents that prove they are rebels and that they went back [to mainstream society] for a new life.)

Paje said the DSWD was only able to provide certified true copies of documents because the original papers were used by other agencies.

"Sa ngayon, nakikipag-ugnayan ang ating field office sa DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government) upang maka-secure ng original copy nitong mga dokumentong ito at 'yan po ang ating action na ginagawa upang maiwasto 'yung report ng COA," he said.

(Our field office is now coordinating with the DILG to secure original copy of these documents, and that's our action to correct the report of COA.)