Money for poor used to subsidize bank: COA flags Landbank for holding on to billions of 4Ps funds
The Commission on Audit has flagged the Land Bank of the Philippines for failing to liquidate P10.7 billion in cash transfers and return P5.385 billion in unclaimed funds intended for the government’s dole out program, 4Ps or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.
In the 2017 annual audit report of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, COA said Landbank could not account for P10.7 billion in over the counter payments to 4Ps beneficiaries as of end-2017. COA said nearly half of the funds were allocated between 2012 and 2016 with the bulk of unliquidated funds P6.09 billion posted in 2017. The 4PS funds were fully liquidated from 2008 to 2011.
COA said this was in violation of LBP’s obligation to liquidate easy pay-out to 4Ps beneficiaries within five working days. “This is tantamount to depriving them of the needed resources to get through their daily needs,” said COA.
The non-liquidation means that that 4Ps funds were being used to subsidize Landbank’s operations instead of the real targets – indigent Filipinos. This is doubly ironic considering that aside from depriving the poor of their subsidies, Landbak has also been criticized for shunning farmers and preferring to lend to big corporations.
Aside from non-liquidation, COA also scored Landbank for failing to return to the Treasury P5.4 billion in unclaimed cash grants from 2013 to 2017.
COA noted that it has asked DSWD to demand that Landbank return the unclaimed funds as early as 2016 but it only returned P181 million or three percent of the P5.4 billion in its hands.
DSWD claimed that it could only force Landbank to return as much as P1.1 billion because the rest of the unclaimed funds have to be rescheduled.