DSWD: No irregularities in tapping Starpay for aid
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Friday stressed that there had been no irregularities in the agency’s engagement with financial service providers (FSPs), particularly Starpay Corp., in distributing cash aid to the poor.
In a statement, the DSWD said its engagement with the FSPs “was aboveboard and in accordance with the existing government accounting rules and procedures.”
Lawmakers had questioned the DSWD why it gave Starpay, a little-known firm, the bulk of the funds for the social amelioration program in 2020 and 2021 when it had fewer users compared to other digital platforms and even incurred huge losses in 2019. They also noted that Starpay failed to disburse around P8 billion to target beneficiaries.
Starpay, a 5-year-old firm, got the lion’s share of P51.35 billion, or 60 percent of the P85.1 billion fund for the second tranche of the social amelioration program. The rest of the funds were distributed by the more established GCash, Paymaya, Robinsons Bank, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., and Unionbank. —Mariejo S. Ramos
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.