- The Commission on Audit revealed Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program unliquidated fund amounting to P6.39 billion
- The 4Ps provides cash benefits to poor families to aid in the children’s schooling and to help in the family’s health and nutrition
- Delay in processing check payments to beneficiaries led the funds to remain idle and untouched in government banks
The Commission on Audit (COA) revealed that as much as P6.39 billion in funds remained unliquidated as of 2015. Said funds include the conditional cash transfer (CCT) with years in question from 2008 to 2014.
A part of the funds meant for CCT beneficiaries amounting to P1.579 billion was discovered as idle in Land Bank of the Philippines. The funds have remained untouched in government banks and its conduits, with only a portion of the allocated budget reaching beneficiaries.
According to the audit report that was released by the commission this week, there were no recorded withdrawals from the time the accounts were opened from the almost 400,000 beneficiary accounts. Approximately P139 million is the total of said accounts.
Delay in the processing and releasing of check payments to beneficiaries was seen as the culprit as to why only a portion of the budgeted amount was released and reached intended beneficiaries. According to COA’s report, this delay paved the way for Landbank to hold idle funds.
For instance, in 2015, only 22.28 percent was released to qualified 4Ps beneficiaries. The budget was at P562.40 but only a fraction thereof was released. During the 2010 to 2015 period, idle untouched funds in banks amounted to P1.579 billion.
The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) is a program that provides poor families with cash benefits to aid their health and nutrition. Another purpose of the 4Ps is to help families who have school-aged children.
A huge portion of the budget is allocated every year for the 4Ps. Last year, P62.3 billion was budgeted for it. The DSWD, the implementing body of the 4Ps, availed of several foreign loans totaling to P90.03 billion so as to implement five projects. Out of the five, three are still being implemented, which includes the CCT.
Early this year, a $450 million loan was approved by the World Bank. The additional loan is meant to augment the project’s cost for four more years.
The program’s intention is very noble; however, the process by which it was implemented may have contained some flaw, prohibiting the actual budgeted amount from reaching beneficiaries. Government bureaucracy may be the real culprit behind it all.