P4M given to 670 ‘ineligible’ SAP beneficiaries in Oslob – COA

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | June 21,2021 - 09:40 AM
P4M given to 670 ‘ineligible’ SAP beneficiaries in Oslob - COA

INQUIRER.NET FILE PHOTO

CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Commission on Audit (COA) told the local government of Oslob to address “irregularities” in the distribution of Social Amelioration Program (SAP) funds in their town.

This after state auditors, in their 2020 Annual Audit Report for Oslob, found out that close to 700 individuals were ineligible to receive the P6,000 cash subsidy from the national government.

Citing data from the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Central Visayas (DSWD-7), COA said a total of 670 beneficiaries in Oslob were included in the list of ineligible beneficiaries during the ‘post-validation’ stage for the recipients of the 1st tranche of SAP.

Government auditors reported that a total of P4,020,000 in public funds were handed out to these unqualified recipients and that local officials still needed to collect or substantiate where the remaining P3.9 million went as only P84,000 was returned to the government’s coffers so far.

“The distribution (was) not substantially supported with individual pictures of recipients, making the disbursements irregular and prevented the less privileged or deserving or indigent family of the most needed benefit,” COA said.

As a result, the state’s auditing body instructed local officials of Oslob to provide supporting documents as proof that these individuals were indeed qualified to receive SAP funds.

They also ordered the municipal government to issue demand letters, directing ineligible recipients to return the money.

“Likewise, send demand letters to all ineligible beneficiaries for the refund of the said benefits totaling ₱3,936,000.00 to prevent disallowance in audit and to hold personnel responsible for its release to be jointly and severally liable therefor,” COA said.

These ineligible beneficiaries have addresses in Barangays Alo, Bangcogon, Bonbon, Calumpang, Canang, Canangcaan, Cansaloay, Can-ukban, Daanlungsod, Gawi, Hagdan, Lagunde, Looc, Luka, Mainit, Manlum, Nueva Caceres, Poblacion, Pungtod, Tan-awan, and Tumalog.

“The reasons cited for their ineligibility was that they were also beneficiaries from Social Security System (SSS), a Government Employee (JO or Regular), Head of the Family is Elected or Appointed Barangay Officials, 4Ps Beneficiary, have Sufficient Income, Overseas Foreign Workers (OFWs), Working in Formal Economy or living alone,” COA added.

Unaware? 

Sought for his comments, Oslob Mayor Jose Tumulak Jr. said they are now resolving the matter with the concerned barangay officials and national government agencies.

Tumulak, in a phone interview, said most of these “ineligible beneficiaries were unaware of the technicalities” in receiving the cash subsidy from the government.

“Tinuod man nga (deserve) nila makadawat kay naglisud gyud sila. Wa lang gyud sila kahibaw anang technicalities,” he said.

(It’s true that they deserve to receive cash subsidy since they were really struggling. They were just unaware of the technicalities.)

He added that the tight deadline and the lack of manpower during the disbursement were the reasons why their workers unable to provide the necessary supporting documents and photos as proof.

“Ang nag endorse sa mga ngalan kay ang mga barangays. Gisubmit sa atong office ug sa DSWD,” Tumulak added.

(The names were endorsed by the barangays. These were then submitted to our office and to the DSWD.)

An elaborated version of Tumulak’s statement is also found on the same report from COA.

“The implementation of SAP was (at a) fast pace. Due to short period of time and pressure on deadline to conduct pay-out, the basis of the inclusion of beneficiaries to the program were information written by the recipients in their Social Amelioration Card (SAC), desk validation and verification with Barangay Officials, and phone calls to reachable beneficiaries to ensure that the most deserving indigent family will receive the grants,” portions of the document read.

“Management was able to take pictures of the beneficiaries but not all were taken individually as they had limited manpower during the pay-out,” it added.

In the meantime, the locality vowed to deliver the lacking documents and photos and to send demand letters to the ineligible claimants. They also said they will be seeking assistance from officers of the DSWD-7 to resolve the matter.

“Sugod June 18, nag issue na ta ug demand letters. Naa nay nagbayad balik. Sa pagkakarun, naa gyuy willing mubayad pero kasagara nila wa pa may cash nga ingon ana ka dako pangbayad balik. Mao na atong gisabotan pa run (sa DSWD),” Tumulak explained.

(Since June 18, we have already issued demand letters. Some have already returned the money. As of now, yes, they are willing to do refunds but they told us that they do not have enough money to pay it right away. This is what we’re discussing and resolving right now with DSWD.)

Oslob is a fourth-class town located over 120 kilometers southeast of Cebu City.

SAP

The national government rolled out SAP to provide financial assistance for those who are directly affected during the height of the COVID-19 crisis in 2020.

In Oslob, COA said a total of P18.5 million was allocated for the town’s poorest families.

The SAP, however, was marred with controversies including reports that several local executives allegedly pocketed portions of the funds. / dcb

RELATED STORIES

DSWD-7: Over 400K families in Cebu receive SAP 2nd tranche

DILG-7: Cases filed vs. brgy officials from NegOr, Bohol over SAP

Subscribe to our regional newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.
Read Next

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

TAGS: COA, Commission on Audit, DSWD-7, irregular SAP distribution, Oslob, SAP, social amelioration program

Subscribe to our regional newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.