COA flags inefficiencies in student financial aid program
MANILA — The Commission on Audit has flagged various deficiencies in the Commission on Higher Education’s implementation of the Student Financial Assistance Programs (StuFAPs), including the delay in the processing of claims amounting to P140.48 million.
In its annual audit report, the COA said the efficient implementation of StuFAP was “disturbed by the deviations from the established criteria” set under CHED Memorandum Order No. 13, series of 2014, as amended by CMO No. 44, series of 2016.
In five regional offices, processing of claims and release of payments were delayed from one month up to more than a year. This deprived beneficiaries of “the immediate use of the funds for their educational needs.”
The Cagayan Valley office accounted for much of the delayed releases, totaling P105.25 million. Other regions affected by the same problem were the Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos Region, Bicol Region, and Eastern Visayas.
Another P77.08 million in checks went unclaimed or stale in the Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, and Soccsksargen.
On the other end of the spectrum, 203 grantees in the Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Mimaropa, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao and Soccsksargen regions received double payments totaling P1.471 million.
The double payments arose from the grant of “either two types of scholarship/financial assistance or paid twice for the same type of scholarship in a semester.”
COA also put CHED to task for the payment of P2.57 million to unqualified students. The audit report added that P1.52 million was paid to scholars who were not enrolled in priority courses identified by CHED, while P133,500 went to scholars with failing grades.
A total of P342,000 was paid to students whose names did not appear in the billing statements submitted by the higher education institutions. Another P22,500 went to scholars who transferred schools without prior approval by their respective regional offices. SFM
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