4Ps payout agents win P277-M claim vs DSWD

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MANILA, Philippines – The government partners which handled the payouts for the Pantawid ng Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) will now get their service fees worth P277.9 million from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The Commission on Audit (COA) ordered the DSWD to pay its obligations to Globe G-Cash, Philippine Postal Corporation,n, rural banks, and the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) for Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) payouts in 2013 and prior years.

The CCT, initiated by the Arroyo administration and developed into the Aquino administration’s flagship anti-poverty program, seeks to save the poorest from the poverty trap through direct cash assistance, based on a number of conditions involving maternal and child health, among others.

According to the COA decision issued on April 7 and released to media on Thursday, April 20, Philpost billed the government P129.85 million; Globe G-Cash, P81.34 million; M Lhuiller, P35.15 million; Cash Card, P20.79 million; rural banks or countryside financial institutions, P8.9 million; and over-the-counter, P1.95 million.

Revalidation

In 2015, the COA ordered the DSWD and Landbank auditors to revalidate the money claims from the payout agents, saying there were discrepancies in the financial records.

For example, there were noted differences between the service fee agreed upon to the service fee which was charged in the actual payout.

The supervising auditor of the DSWD submitted the findings on the revalidation of the claims in July 2016, satisfied with the additional documents submitted by the agency.

The auditor acknowledged that several memoranda of agreement were signed, and that the varying service fees conformed to these MOAs. The COA decision does not comprehensively discuss why the service fees varied.

According to the decision, rural banks and countryside financial institutions charged P25 to P50 per payout; cash cards, over-the-counter transactions, and M. Lhuiller charged P24; Philpost charged from P24 to P50; while Globe G-Cash charged from P42 to P75 per payout. – Rappler.com