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LTFRB clarifies COA report on using only 1% of Service Contracting Program budget

/ 01:15 PM August 18, 2021
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) clarified on Wednesday the Commission on Audit's (COA) findings that showed only one percent of the allocated budget for the Service Contracting Program was utilized.

Commission on Audit. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) clarified on Wednesday the Commission on Audit’s (COA) findings that showed only one percent of the allocated budget for the Service Contracting Program was utilized.

“To set the records straight, with the actual funds downloaded to LTFRB only in November 2020, the Service Contracting Program was immediately implemented to incentivize Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) drivers and operators who were given permission to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the LTFRB said in a statement.

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The COA earlier flagged the LTFRB over its usage of only P59 million out of its P5.58-billion fund for the Service Contracting Program.

The LTFRB explained that the memorandum of agreement between them and the Landbank of the Philippines (LBP) was signed in December 2020 “which govern the distribution of cash subsidies to eligible beneficiaries” through the bank’s crediting to subsisting LBP accounts or subsisting other bank accounts or e-money/wallet.

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The Department of Transportation’s attached agency said it is misleading to angle reports that only one percent of the allocation was used as the audit covers December 2020.

“Therefore, it is misleading to angle certain reports and columns that only 1% was used from the P5.56-B funds for the Service Contracting Program, where in fact, the 1% utilization rate only covers the implementation month of December 2020, which is also the coverage/extent of the COA report that was released,” LTFRB raised.

The P1.5 billion was issued to beneficiary drivers across the country and for the procurement of the systems manager as of June 30, 2021.

The LTFRB shared the following initial payouts:  P4,000 were provided to 23,410 drivers; one-time onboarding incentives of P25,000 were provided to 8,461 drivers; one-time onboarding incentives of P20,000 were provided to 702 drivers; and; 18,864 drivers got their weekly payouts.

Currently, the transport-attached agency is coordinating with the Department of Budget and Management for the release of funds worth P3.3 billion on the remaining account payables.

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