Minglanilla officials told to demand refund from 40 ‘ineligible’ SAP beneficiaries
MANDAUE CITY, Cebu — At least P240, 000 from Mingalanilla town’s share of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) funds went to 40 ‘ineligible’ recipients.
The Commission Audit (COA) said that the four barangay councilors, a regular employee of the municipal government and 35 Job Order employees, who received the P6,000 aid should be asked to pay a refund.
Also, COA mentioned in its 2020 Audit Report the failure of the municipal government to liquidate funds amounting to P118.8 million for the government’s SAP-Emergency Subsidy Program (ESP).
Funding was allocated for low-income families living in areas covered by the community quarantine that were badly affected by the pandemic.
Ineligible SAP recipients
COA has directed the Municipal Social Welfare Office (MSWO) to submit a written explanation on the release of SAP funds to ineligible beneficiaries that have constituted as “irregular disbursements.”
“If warranted, demand for refund for funds illegally received and/or impose corresponding sanctions as provided in Memorandum Circular No. 09 Series of 2020 dated April 9, 2020,” portions of the Audit Report read.
“Refund can easily be demanded since these people are connected with the municipality,” it added.
The Omnibus Guidelines in the implementation of the SAP-ESP disqualifies elected and appointed government officials; permanent, contractual, coterminus personnel; and contracted personnel like JOs from receiving the government’s cash aid.
Town officials told COA that “they will revisit the paid beneficiaries and will demand a refund in case they are not qualified.”
Quoting data from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, COA said, 19,810 families were selected as beneficiaries of the ESP in Minglanilla town, a first class municipality in southern Cebu.
But, “based on our audit, the details and supporting documents for the fund utilization has not been submittted despite demands for the submission of disbursement vouchers on December 1, 2020 and January 11, 2021.”
Unless liquidation is made, COA said the “proper accounting and utilization of the funds could not be ascertained.”
The absence of documentary support also “created doubt as to the validity, propriety, and legality of the transaction.”
On March 5, the municipal government sent to the Commission boxes which contained liquidation documents. But auditors said they had yet to review these documents.
The town’s transmittal letter lacked breakdown of the submitted documents and vouchers making the review process more challenging.
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