Posted on 26 November 2012.
The Pantawid Pamilya related-findings contained in the 2011 Consolidated Audit Report on Official Development Assistance (ODA) Projects (http://www.coa.gov.ph/Audit/AAR.htm) are lifted from the 2011 Consolidated Annual Audit Report (CAAR) on the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) prepared by the Commission on Audit. DSWD received its copy last 20 November 2012 and is required to submit “a status report on the actions taken on the audit recommendations within 60 days from the date of receipt thereof…”. DSWD management responses to the COA findings are likewise incorporated in the CAAR report and we will circulate the full copy once COA makes it available on its website. For the record, these findings were already raised by various news organizations utilizing draft COA reports in the past months, and DSWD has issued various press releases on these matters, which we are providing once again, in response to the currently circulating news reports.
As of October 31, 2012, only P174,713,938 remains unliquidated from the P3.77 billion cash grants distributed in 2011 to eligible and compliant beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya.
The DSWD continues to coordinate with Landbank of the Philippines to submit supporting documents such as acknowledgement receipts duly signed by beneficiaries in the payroll list, bank debit advices, and certified list of paid beneficiaries, to speed up the liquidation of the remaining balance.
Questionable purchases of mobile phones and planners
The DSWD said that the purchase of mobile phones was deemed necessary to monitor the program but the Department is accepting the COA recommendation and is working with the concerned Field Office to resolve the matter with the involved staff.
On the 2011 planners, the DSWD cited limitations on the procurement of goods and services especially those that are time-bound. With this, the Department initiated steps such as the creation of the Procurement Service, creation of two Bids and Awards Committee, inclusion of effective procurement management as part of performance standards for all offices and units, strengthening systems to ensure linkage of financial, operational and procurement planning, strict monitoring and reporting procurement up to the management and executive levels, review of policies and procedures on procurement, and ongoing capacity building program for procurement personnel.
Selection of qualified households
Poor households are selected using the National Household Targeting System (NHTS-PR) which utilizes the proxy means test (PMT). PMT is a statistical model that estimates the income per capita of households based on proxy means variables such as those from the 2003 Family Income Expenditure Survey (FIES) and Labor Force Survey, household composition and size, housing conditions, tenure status, ownership or assets, education and occupation of household members, access to services and regional variable. PMT is found to be the most appropriate targeting mechanism for developing countries such as the Philippines where there is a large informal labor sector and no nationally aggregated database available to cross check incomes and assets.
The DSWD said that the reported inclusion/exclusion errors in the identification of CCT beneficiaries are already addressed by the Pantawid Pamilya National Program Monitoring Office (NPMO) – Grievance Redress System (GRS). The system allows complaints from excluded or delisted households, or the public regarding the inclusion of non-poor individuals to the program. Complaints desks are also set-up during community assemblies. Re-assessment and validation surveys are also being done by the NHTS-PR to correct inclusion and exclusion errors in the identification of beneficiaries. This in an on-going process.
As of 24 October 2012, a total 47,878 households have already been delisted from the program. This figure includes those households who have been delisted under the Grievance Redress System such as those who have voluntarily waived from the program, those validated to have engaged in fraudulent acts, those validated as inclusion errors and those also found to have been ineligible for the program due to regular income/financial capacity.
Failure to conduct Family Development Sessions
The field offices concerned (FO 3 and IV-A) had already submitted the attendance sheets and other supporting documents to the COA and this has been cleared during the exit conference between COA and DSWD held last August 22,2012.
Lacking qualitative performance indicators
On the report that the program lacked qualitative performance indicators which will measure the improvements brought about by the program on health and education, specifically increase in enrollment and frequency of visits to health centers– the COA had difficulty in understanding that these are not part of the output indicators monitored by program implementers on a bi-monthly basis as part of its compliance verification system. The outcome indicators identified for the program were already submitted to the DBM, who leads the technical working group for the Oversight of Pantawid Pamilya implementation. In addition to this, the World Bank and ADB, as development partners, prescribe inclusion of qualitative indicators in overall program design and are embedded in all loan documents that the Department has to comply with. Finally, as part of its monitoring framework, the DSWD in partnership with the World Bank, conducts impact evaluation every two years.
DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman assured the public that the DSWD is adopting measures to improve the implementation of the CCT program.
“We are continuously reviewing and improving policies and systems as well as implementing key strategic measures to ensure transparency and judicious management of funds,” Secretary Soliman said. ###