COA criticizes govt’s anti-poverty program

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The Commission on Audit spots more problems in the government's flagship program for the poor

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Audit (COA) spotted more problems in the government’s Pantawid ng Pamilya Pilipino (4Ps) program that “raise doubts on the capacity” of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to implement it.

First, COA said the number of beneficiaries dropped in 2011.

“The decline in the number of beneficiaries who received grants in CY 2011 as compared with beneficiaries in CY 2010 coupled with the decrease in the amount received and fluctuation in the number of beneficiaries indicate that lesser beneficiaries had complied with the condition(s) of the program,” COA said in a newly released report “2011 Consolidated Audit Report on Official Development Assistance Projects.”

(The report did not specify the number of households enrolled in the CCT program for 2010 and 2011.)

The “Pantawid” is the government’s flagship program for the poor. Also known as the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), it got an allocation of P21-B in 2011. DSWD is the lead agency in charge of its implementation.

Other problems that government auditors discovered were the following:

  • P3.77-B in unacounted disbursements
  • deficient supervision over the registration of qualified households
  • questionable and extravagant purchases using program funds

Based on the report, total disbursements for 2011 reached P14,486,750,011.28. Out of this amount, only P10,716,588,449.28 was “properly documented and verified.”
COA said DSWD should ask the the Land Bank of the Philippines to submit documents to support liquidation reports. COA said lack of documentary support for fund releases are “affecting the reliability of ending balances” of various CCT accounts.


The report also noted the failure of municipal links (ML) and city links (CL) to conduct “family development sessions.” COA also recommended sanctions.

In terms of expenditures, COA also questioned the purchase of 30 units of Galaxy phones, which cost a total of P342,400 and 2011 planners worth P428,750 that were only delivered in May 2011.

COA also said there’s a need to check if the program is successful in addressing poverty.
“The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino program lacked qualitative performance indicators which will measure the improvements brought about by the program on the health care of beneficiaries, increase in the enrolment, reduction of the incidence of child labor, etc.,” said COA in the report.
COA detailed other problems with the CCT program in previous reports. It previously exposed problems with DSWD’s selection process allowing arguably rich families to become beneficiaries. –

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