COA uncovers PhlPost’s unliquidated cash advances
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - September 4, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Postal Corp. (PhlPost) has allegedly made a P5-billion   cash advance from the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program being administered by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

PhlPost is one of the DSWD’s monetary conduits for the distribution of cash subsidies to indigent families under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

The Commission on Audit (COA) discovered the huge amount in unliquidated funds in the account of the PhlPost.

“It exposed these funds to malversation, theft or other risks,” COA said.

The P4.936 billion in PhlPost’s unliquidated cash advances were 1,000 percent higher than the P449.841 million the agency incurred in 2012, COA added.

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago has called for an investigation into the reported P5-billion unliquidated cash advances of PhlPost.

“It appears that the DSWD is either lackadaisical in implementing the CCT program or complicit with the abuse of these public funds,” she said. “These monetary conduits should be investigated for their failure in executing one of the administration’s flagship programs. I would not be surprised if PhlPost is not the only monetary conduit at fault.”

Santiago said the inefficiency of the CCT program demonstrates the failure of the government to bring about inclusive growth.

“The President’s people made him look like a fool by convincing him that the CCT program is a success. The President even mentioned it in his recent SONA,” she  said.

“Our public funds keep ending up either stolen or misused. I aim to rise from my sickbed when budget deliberations in the Senate come. I will not let this corruption pass without heads rolling.” 

Santiago’s resolution was referred to the Senate committee on social justice, welfare and rural development.

Speaking to reporters, Sen.  Nancy Binay, the committee chairman, said a huge amount in unliquidated cash advances could not have emerged overnight.

She will study Santiago’s resolution and then call for a hearing on the issue, she added.

PhlPost got P165 M from DAP

COA also discovered that   PhlPost used P165 million from DAP funds to pay for the insurance premiums of  officials and employees in 2011.

COA questioned the use of government resources for a stimulus package to pay for the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) contributions of PhlPost personnel.

State auditors said PhlPost received a total of P644 million in DAP funds in 2011.

Of the amount, P479 million was used to repurchase the Quezon City Post Office property that a commercial bank had foreclosed after PhlPost failed to settle loan obligations.

The COA report said PhlPost used the balance of P165 million for remittance of   GSIS premiums.

Nothing was paid to Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) for premiums and franking privileges for which part of the funds was intended.

State auditors said they sought clarification from Budget Secretary Florencio Abad if he authorized the use of DAP funds to pay employer’s contributions to the GSIS.

In a letter, Budget Undersecretary Luz Cantor replied: “Since the release of P100 million forms part of PhlPost’s revenue, PhlPost has the discretion to identify and settle its priority obligations. In the instant case, PhlPost utilized the whole amount of P165 million to settle its unpaid obligations with the GSIS.” – Marvin Sy, Michael Punongbayan, Jose Rodel Clapano

BUDGET SECRETARY FLORENCIO ABAD BUDGET UNDERSECRETARY LUZ CANTOR DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT FUNDS GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM JOSE RODEL CLAPANO MARVIN SY MICHAEL PUNONGBAYAN PHLPOST
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