Amid COA findings, new DSWD leadership vows to improve handling of public resources

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy  M. Taguiwalo expressed alarm on the recent findings of the Commission on Audit (COA)  on the alleged millions worth of relief goods spoiled in DSWD warehouses.

“We are rather alarmed on the COA report because this involves millions worth of food items that can feed thousands of calamity victims. This is an issue that needs proper handling and evaluation,”  Sec. Taguiwalo stated.

She explained that her team is now discussing proper measures to address the situation and considering all the recommendations and observations made by the COA.

“Our aim is to be consistent with the Duterte administration’s commitment to provide prompt, adequate, and compassionate service to the Filipino people. This involves being responsible custodians of public resources. Rest assured that we will continue to act on these concerns and improve the Department’s means of handling resources,”  Sec. Taguiwalo further expounded.

With regard to the implementation of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), the same COA report found deficiencies under 4P’s information system such as duplicate entries in the 4Ps payroll, exclusion/suspension of compliant beneficiaries from payroll, and delays in the distribution of cash grants.

“This is the very purpose why we are undertaking the review of 4Ps. We want to explore more effective means to review the financial system and other processes of the program to ensure that such findings will never be repeated,” Sec. Taguiwalo continued.

The Department is currently exploring the use of a fund intercept, such as the “IRA intercept” for DSWD partner-local government units or similar budget intercept for other agencies, and a penalty clause for LandBank and its conduits if they fail to liquidate DSWD cash advances.

“As said by President Duterte in his first SONA, DSWD will continue to help the poorest of the poor with the goal of helping them to become self-reliant and independent through other forms of assistance and not only the 4Ps,” Sec. Taguiwalo ended.

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