Legarda fumes over unliquidated P15B DSWD funds
Senate committee on finance chair Senator Loren Legarda has blown her fuse on Tuesday over the P15 billion Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) fund that the local government units (LGUs) have failed to account for in the last six years.
During the agency’s budget deliberation, Social Welfare Undersecretary Emmanuel Leyco said that of the amount earmarked for various programs of the DSWD, P2.9 billion were allocated for the supplemental feeding program implemented by the LGUs.
Legarda said that since the funds remained unliquidated, the agency then could not proceed with its program in the LGUs that have failed to account for the allocation.
“What happens to the program, sir?” she asked.
Leyco said the agency could not download funds for the program without being audited by the Commission on Audit (COA).
Thus, he said, “The supplemental feeding will stop.”
Legarda, however, said this was unacceptable since many poor children were affected.
“Poor children failed to get nutrition and other benefits because of the unconcern of these LGUs and maybe these mayors are no longer there. It’s infuriating,” she added.
Leyco pointed out that a mayor’s loss in election, the resignation of the employee responsible for the liquidation of the funds, as well as problems with the receipts, were among the usual reasons given to the DSWD by the LGUs for their failure to liquidate the funds.
Legarda asked the DSWD to give the committee a breakdown of the unliquidated funds and the list of “notorious” LGUs that have failed to account for the funds given to them for the various programs of the agency.
Leyco said the agency has a comprehensive report on the P15 billion unliquidated funds, identifying the concerned regions and local governments as well as the program and the year. This report, he added, will be submitted to the Senate committee.
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