COA reports

COA: DSWD has no proof P5.32M cash aid went to former rebels despite a year to comply

Rappler.com
COA: DSWD has no proof P5.32M cash aid went to former rebels despite a year to comply
A big portion of the DSWD cash aid to ex-rebels in the Caraga were part of the assistance from the NTF-ELCAC

MANILA, Philippines – A year after it was flagged by the Commission on Audit, a field office Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) dealing with rebel-returnees was still remiss in submitting “vital documents” to prove its beneficiaries were eligible to receive government assistance.

Specifically, COA asked for original documents ascertaining that the 330 persons who benefitted from the government’s P5.32 million cash aid program were indeed rebels who surrendered in the Caraga.

The COA said the DSWD-Field Office Caraga (Region 13), could not even identify who these former rebels were because the recipients could not present government-issued identity cards.

This is the reason why in COA’s 2021 report, released last July 15, the audit team marked as “Not Implemented” an entry under its previous year’s recommendations to DSWD. 

COA initially flagged in its 2020 annual audit report DSWD-Caraga’s failure to produce original documents to support that the government’s P5.32 million cash assistance went to the 330 rebel returnees.

The documents the state auditors required were the original certification of the Joint AFP-PNP Intelligence Committee (JAPIC) and the endorsement from the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) committee.

After a year since this report, COA said, “The required documents were not yet submitted to the audit team.”

A copy of the 2021 audit report was sent to former DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista last June 29, just  before the new administration took over.

DSWD-Caraga last year promised to produce the needed original documents by coordinating with the Crisis Intervention Sections and the Regional Program Coordinator (RPC) of the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).

Auditors said in 2020 DSWD-Caraga’s P1.28 million E-CLIP cash-aid was vouched only by “certified true copies of the enrollment form.”

The P4.04 million distributed under the Livelihood Settlement Grants (LSG) was only backed by photocopies of the JAPIC certification.

“The certification from the JAPIC and the endorsement from the E-CLIP committee are the only vital documents attesting to the eligibility of the beneficiaries to receive assistance,” stressed COA, referring to original documents and not mere photocopies or certified true copies.

Administrative Order No. 10 s. 2018, stated that those qualified to receive E-CLIP aid are former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) and the National Democratic Front (NDF) and their immediate family members.

Meanwhile, Executive Order No. 70 which created the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC)  now included former communist rebels in three DSWD financial assistance programs – the Pantawid and Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), and the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS).

All in all, beneficiaries could get a total cash assistance of P30,00 each from the DSWD. – Rappler.com

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