Sunday, December 3, 2023

DSWD completing documents required by COA report

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), complying with the mandate to be transparent in all transactions, is in the process of completing documents required by the Commission on Audit (COA) for its 2020 Audit Report.

The COA report showed that disbursement of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) and Livelihood Settlement Grants for former rebels, amounting to more than P5.3 million, had inappropriate documentation such as a certified true copy of the Joint Armed Forces of the Philippines-Philippine National Police Intelligence Committee (JAPIC) Certification, instead of the original document, the DSWD said in a statement on Thursday.

The JAPIC certification is a document that validates the membership of former rebels with communist terrorist groups and other extremist groups and a requirement for the issuance of assistance.

As a means to improve its systems and strengthen its operations, the DSWD acknowledged the COA report, with clarifications that the funds for the assistance to former rebels were accounted for.

The DSWD said its Caraga office did not provide original copies of the JAPIC Certification of beneficiaries since the documents were submitted by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), as the referring party, to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)-Caraga, which is the principal agency that provides former rebels with E-CLIP packages.

DSWD-Caraga had informed DILG-Caraga of the COA’s audit observation memorandum and requested technical assistance in securing the original JAPIC certification.

Call for thorough reporting

DSWD Undersecretary Rene Glen Paje earlier said in a virtual media briefing that some news outlets issued an incorrect interpretation of the 2020 Audit Report of COA.

“Some publications may be misleading when they single out certain attributes of reports and not give its full context which may lead to mass disinformation. This may be addressed through a thorough examination of concerned agencies as we champion transparency and free information,” he said on Monday.

Paje urged other government agencies and affiliates to regularly publish knowledge-rich prints that may give the public a broader understanding of the processes and the makings of government goods and services while the media must always gather more information.

“COA Audit Reports are not an announcement of crime. These are advice to the government agencies to show 100 percent accountability and transparency which we all comply with within a given period,” National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said in the same briefing. 

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