By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) expressed its gratitude on Saturday (May 30) to the Commission on Audit (COA) for relaxing its rules and reducing its documentary requirements for fund transfers that will help expedite the second phase implementation of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).
In a statement, the DSWD thanked COA Chairman Michael G. Aguinaldo “for granting our request due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic to extend the relaxing of the rules as embodied in COA Circular No. 2016-002.”
The circular dated May 21, 2016 requires a “certification by the accountant that the funds previously transferred to the implementing agency (IA) have been liquidated and accounted for in the books,” as a prerequisite to the succeeding release of funds, the DSWD said.
The COA issued the circular to “safeguard public funds against misuse, and at the same time, to be an enabler of government programs and projects.”
In a virtual press briefing last Thursday, DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista said the agency is coordinating with the COA to reduce the financial documents being required from the agency and the local government units (LGUs) for the liquidation of fund releases for the first tranche of the SAP emergency subsidies.
He said there are “variables” that have to be considered by the agency before it proceeds with the distribution of the second tranche of SAP subsidies.
The DSWD also thanked Aguinaldo for allowing the LGUs’ submission of a duly certified Sangguniang Barangay Resolution or a Barangay Council Resolution attesting to the eligibility and qualification of the LGUs’ listed beneficiaries, as provided for by DSWD Memorandum Circular No. 09- 2020 and Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1 between seven government agencies: DSWD, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Agriculture, Department of Finance, Department of Budget and Management, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
“However, all local chief executives must submit their duly accomplished completed full liquidation reports within three months from the lifting of the declaration of the state of calamity for the Commission on Audit regular post audit,” it said.
The department said the COA’s action will help facilitate “the quick release of the funds” intended for the second wave of cash subsidies.
The DSWD earlier said the distribution of the second tranche of cash subsidies will only take place after the LGUs submit their complete and full liquidation reports, including the encoded list of the SAP beneficiaries.
“Nagpapasalamat ang DSWD sa sambayanang Pilipino, sa inyong pagtitiwala sa lahat ng ahensya ng pamahalaan na nakikipaglaban para sa kabutihan ng bawat pamilya sa panahon ng pandemiyong COVID-19,” it added.
(The DSWD thanks the Filipino people for trusting all our government agencies fighting for the welfare of each family at this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.)