COA slashes DSWD debt to Landbank

February 18, 2020

THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has an unpaid debt to the Land Bank of the Philippines amounting to P82.7 million.

The Commission on Audit (COA) said the debt stems from the unpaid service fees for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) or the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT).

The COA Commission Proper granted the petition for money claim filed by the Landbank which covers CCT payouts in 2013 and prior years.

However, it adjusted DSWD’s obligation to P82.72 million which is lower than Landbank’s original claim of P87.05 million and the amended claim of P92.27 million.

The two government agencies signed a memorandum of agreement on July 14, 2011 authorizing Landbank to “identify, negotiate, accredit, and enter into separate agreements” with qualified CCT conduits to help distribute CCT aid to household beneficiaries.

Under the same agreement, it is the Landbank that was supposed to handle the service fees and remit such payments to the conduits’ accounts.

Based on the list provided by the bank the unpaid service fees amounted to P73.16 million for the Philippine Postal Corporation, P8.23 million for Globe G-Cash, P4.744 million for accredited rural banks, P866,756 for M. Lhuiller, and P46,762 for over-the-counter payouts.

On November 13, 2015, the Landbank filed the petition for money claim and the DSWD acknowledged its obligation, however, it explained that it cannot release the money unless the account undergoes validation of government auditors.

“There is no question that LBP is entitled to payment of the service fees of CCT conduits. The obligation to pay LBP for the same has also been admitted by the DSWD in its Answer dated January 11, 2016. In view of the foregoing, this Commission resolves to grant the Petition for Money Claim in the reduced amount,” the COA said in its ruling.

With the verification conducted by the supervising auditor on the disbursement vouchers and supporting documents, the COA affirmed only P82.72 million or P9.55 million lower than the Landbank’s adjusted claim.

“In determining the reasonableness of rates, validation showed that the conduits’ service fees rates used per paid beneficiary were in accordance with the rates stipulated in the MOAs,” the COA added.