Lacson asks DSWD about payroll “irregularities” involving P1M in travel allowances

WHY ARE THERE SO MANY DSWD PROGRAMS? Senator Panfilo Lacson is sounding the alarm on potentially overlapping claims for beneficiaries under the various programs of the Department of Social Protection and Development (DSWD). During the hybrid plenary on Tuesday, November 23, 2021 deliberating on the agency’s 2022 budget proposal, Lacson asked if the DSWD could streamline its programs so the government can save money on overhead. (Bibo Nueva España / PRIB Senate)

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson on Tuesday questioned the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on alleged “irregularities in payroll funding” involving 1 million pesos in travel allowances allegedly “illegally” »Deposited in the account of an official.

During plenary deliberations on the DSWD’s 2022 draft budget, Lacson said he received a letter from the former president of the Philippine Welfare Employees Association regarding alleged irregularities in the DSWD office in the region 11.

“According to him, DSWD staff in Region 11 were complaining because they had not received their travel allowance, the TEV (travel expense voucher), on their Land Bank accounts,” Lacson said.

Lacson, citing the letter, noted that a total of about 1 million pesos for the payment of VTE “has been illegally deposited into the account” of the administrative assistant in the office assigned to payroll preparation.

“The management of the Yung DSWD Region 11 office would not have laid any charges,” added the senator.

Instead, said administrative assistant was simply allowed to terminate the employment contract until December 2020 without renewal, Lacson noted.

The former president of the employees’ union, according to Lacson, said the incident has already been communicated to the regional office “but no action has been taken to date.”

“Worse, [the] The head of the Pantawid program division ordered that the incident be kept a secret, ”he added, citing the letter.

“This complaint was also raised to Sec. (Rolando) Bautista but no investigation has been carried out so far, can we hear from DSWD? asked Lacson.

“Not enough evidence”

Senator Imee Marcos, who has defended the DSWD’s budget, said Bautista told her that “action has been taken” and that an investigation is underway by a commission of inquiry.

A separate investigation with the Land Bank has already started, she added.

But with the incident that happened a year ago already, Lacson asked the DSWD about the status of the investigation.

“This happened last year … We should expect some progress in the investigation to have already been made,” he said.

In response, Marcos, citing responses given to him by the DSWD, said the Land Bank would need to “secure wages for travel allowances, as it seems impossible that a single account could have been declared in payroll “.

“So it looks like there should be even more of this or that other recordings are needed to verify these claims,” ​​she said.

In addition, Marcos said she was informed that the field office had completed its investigation but the findings were “inconclusive”.

“There was not sufficient evidence of the said transfer of one million pula, so they are now directing the Land Bank to undertake the investigation, but the Land Bank finds that it does not have sufficient records concerning all travel allowances, ”she told her colleagues.

“Hindi daw nila mabuo sa ngayon yung total amount na talaga ipinadala because it is impossible that only one account has been declared in the travel allowance kasi yung, hiwa-hiwalay yun ay sa iba-ibang tao”, a- she declared.

“There is a level of confusion pa ho, but I understand that it has been a year, we should get on with it,” she added.

Lacson said he would await the outcome of the ongoing investigation into the matter.

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JPV

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