DSWD chief: CCT beneficiaries all accounted for
Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) - December 27, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – All the cash grants disbursed through the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program were given to rightful beneficiaries and can all be accounted for by the Commission on Audit (COA).

Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman yesterday gave the assurance following reports citing findings in COA’s 2013 Annual Audit Report showing issuance of cash grants to dubious beneficiaries included in the masterlist of CCT program beneficiaries.

She maintained that state auditors were merely seeking documentation of the program implementation and did not indicate any suspicion of misuse of funds, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) already submitted its clarifications on the audit observations to COA.

“We are confident that there is nothing to doubt about the department’s integrity, especially with the funds that COA cites as unliquidated in their 2013 annual audit report. The funds went to the rightful beneficiaries,” Soliman said.

“We would like to assure the public that the amount entrusted to our department goes directly to eligible poor households and that these investments will bear fruit in the years to come. We recognize that there are challenges in program implementation, but we wish to reiterate that these are being responded to accordingly,” she added.

Reports said that out of the P10.626 billion transferred by the DSWD to the Land Bank of the Philippines for the payment of cash grants for 2013, only P10.295 billion was utilized or disbursed as of Dec. 31, 2013, leaving a balance of around P330 million. This represents an unpaid amount intended for beneficiaries in eight regions, some P91.929 million of which were unclaimed grants of active beneficiaries in Regions 4-A, 6, 9, and CARAGA.

Soliman said the DSWD is currently working on the liquidation of the whole amount.

“In fact, we have already liquidated 94 percent of the 2013 funds for cash grants. Further, the department is processing the return of cash grants intended for families/ households who were tagged by our system as delisted, with reflected status as missing, no eligible member for monitoring, or moved to areas not covered by the program,” she explained.

The DSWD has also clarified the finding of 4,032 double household entries. Soliman explained that 1,752 of the 4,032 are unique households and they were retained in the program, while only 609 are actual duplicates and they were delisted. The remaining entries are still undergoing validation.

State auditors also claim to have found 364,036 beneficiaries not in the database entries. But DSWD said that after authenticating, it found that 107,373 beneficiaries are covered under the regular CCT program and they are both in the databases of the CCT program and the National Household Targeting System (NHTS). The remaining 256,663 are under the modified CCT (MCCT).

MCCT households are not covered by the NHTS but they are considered poor and part of the vulnerable sector. These are street dwellers and indigenous people. DSWD said the information on MCCT beneficiaries is stored in a separate database and is open for COA’s review.

The DSWD has also adopted innovations for a more efficient implementation of the CCT program. Soliman said the DSWD set up a grievance redress system that captures, validates, investigates and responds to complaints about the program.

ANNUAL AUDIT REPORT BENEFICIARIES CASH DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT DSWD LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES NATIONAL HOUSEHOLD TARGETING SYSTEM PROGRAM SOCIAL WELFARE SECRETARY CORAZON SOLIMAN SOLIMAN
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