COA to DSWD: Pay Landbank's P82.72 million in unpaid 4Ps service fees
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Audit (COA) said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) should pay Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) some P82.72 million in unpaid service fees relating to accredited private conduits for Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
The decision, signed by COA chairman Michael G. Aguinaldo and Commissioners Jose A. Fabia and Roland C. Pondoc and dated January 27, granted a petition for money claim made by Landbank, covering those CCT payouts from 2013, as well as from prior years.
Based on verification done by the supervising auditor on disbursement vouchers and supporting documents, COA adjusted the payout figure to a lower amount compared to the original claim of P87.05 million and the amended claim of P92.27 million.
This obligation stemmed from a July 14, 2011 memorandum of agreement between the DSWD and Landbank.
The memorandum of agreement authorized Landbank to "identify, negotiate, accredit, and enter into separate agreements" with qualified CCT conduits to help distribute the conditional cash transfer aid to beneficiaries in households.
The agreement also said Landbank was to handle service fees and remit payments to the conduits' accounts.
A list provided by Landbank said the unpaid service fees were P73.16 million for the Philippine Postal Corporation, P8.23 million for Globe G-Cash, P4.744 million for accredited rural banks, P866,756 for M. Lhullier, and P46,672 in over-the-counter payouts.
Problems processing disbursement vouchers to determine how much the accumulated unpaid service fees were resulted in the mentioned accounts turning into "unbooked obligations" for 2013 and prior years.
While Landbank filed a petition for money claim on November 13, 2015, the DSWD acknowledged its obligation but said it could not release the money without government auditors validating it.
COA added the only issue was to find out how much the DSWD’s actual obligation was.
Said the commission, "There is no question that LBP is entitled to payment of the service fees of CCT conduits. The obligation to pay LBP for the same has also been admitted by the DSWD in its Answer dated January 11, 2016. In view of the foregoing, this Commission resolves to grant the Petition for Money Claim in the reduced amount." – Rappler.com