The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reiterates that the findings on the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino program cited by the 2010 Commission on Audit (COA) report, covering the implementation period of 2007-2009), have been addressed and that the Department has institutionalized stringent rules to minimize operational errors. The COA has in fact accepted the steps taken by the Department to resolve the issues.
SWD Secretary Dinky Soliman explained that through the Grievance Redress System (GRS) of the Department, validation and assessment are being undertaken regularly to address complaints regarding having non-poor individuals to the program. Complaints desks are set up during community assemblies, re-assessment and validation surveys are also being undertaken by the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR). A dedicated hotline, 0918-912-2813, has been setup to continually receive complaints from the citizenry. All these on-going processes are designed to fine tune the identification of beneficiaries. DSWD had already delisted 6,157 non-poor households as of June 27, 2012.
It was also clarified that the P6.6 billion claimed by the COA as unliquidated funds includes P3 billion undisbursed funds; only P3.6 billion were actually unliquidated as of December 31, 2010. Of the P3 billion undisbursed, some P2.5 billion were already liquidated as of December 5, 2011 while the balance of P593 million was already remitted to the National Treasury. Of the remaining P3.6 billion actually unliquidated as of December 31, 2010, more than P3 billion had already been liquidated while P570 million were awaiting liquidation reports as of June 2012.
The discrepancies in the entries of grantee names in the database are the result of the inadvertent collection of data during initial household enumeration and survey done by the NHTS-PR and adopted by the Pantawid Pamilya. The idle funds generated from the double entries have since been deposited back to the Bureau of Treasury. The Payroll System for the Pantawid Pamilya cash grant distribution has likewise been enhanced to hasten generation of data, avert data duplication and strengthen accountability and security. As a result of this enhanced system, a total of 1,538 duplicated households have been delisted from the System as of June 27, 2012.
On the P9.7 million alleged overpayment for education grants, the amount represents children enrolled in the program whose age were 14 years at the start of the school year but turned 15 during the school year. Per existing policy, these children are only paid assistance for the remainder of the school year. Children who were enrolled but are not attending school are paid the initial grant to encourage them to attend school. However, succeeding payments are based on compliance to the conditionalities.
Presently, the DSWD is conducting a Massive Updating to facilitate immediate adjustments of the households’ records particularly in education. As of June 27, 2012, the records of 346,654 children have been updated.
On the P367.6 million allegedly released to 60,433 non-complying beneficiaries, the Department is implementing the Compliance Verification System (CVS) in all Pantawid Pamilya areas. This monitors households fulfilment of their co-responsibilities set forth by the program. The system is implemented jointly by the DSWD, the Department of Education and the Department of Health as well as the local government units. Attendance sheets and family booklets, likewise, continue to be used by school principals and health personnel for documenting compliance.
Secretary Soliman said that “These concerns about the CCT have been raised in the past. Again, we would like to assure the public that the DSWD has already adopted mechanisms to improve on and ensure the smooth implementation of the Pantawid Pamilya program.”
“Apart from continuously reviewing and improving policies and systems, the DSWD has adopted key strategic measures, which includes setting up partnerships with 364 civil society organizations (CSOs) as third party monitors to ensure transparency and judicious management of funds,” Secretary Soliman concluded.