DSWD owes Landbank P82M service fees for handling 4Ps

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    THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) owes Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) P82.72 million in unpaid service fees of accredited private conduits for the government’s Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) or the Pantawid and Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), the Commission on Audit (COA) said.

    In a decision dated January 27, 2020, the COA Commission Proper granted the petition for money claim filed by the Landbank which covers CCT payouts in 2013 and prior years.

    However, COA 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 obligation was based on a July 14, 2011 memorandum of agreement between DSWD and the state-owned bank that authorized the latter 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.

    Difficulty in processing the disbursement vouchers to determine the exact amount of accumulated unpaid service fees resulted in the said accounts becoming “unbooked obligations” for 2013 and prior years.

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

    The COA said the only issue to be decided is how much is DSWD’s actual obligation.

    “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.

    Citing 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.

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