THE Commission on Audit (COA) reported that the Municipal Government of Minglanilla, Cebu distributed around P240,000 worth of funds from the National Government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP) to 40 ineligible beneficiaries, including elected barangay officials and regular and job order employees working for the town.
In its 2020 audit observation report, the COA states that the Minglanilla Municipal Government gave out cash assistance through SAP to four elected barangay officials and municipal hall workers, particularly three regular and 33 job order employees.
The barangay officials are Barangay Vito Councilor Jason Villeta, Barangay Camp 8 Councilor Norberto Paran, Barangay Ward 2 Councilor Mario Parages and Barangay Tungkop Councilor Jerome Cabiles.
The regular employees are Elmer Adlawan, Jacky James Gimenez and Victor Labrador.
State auditors recommended to the town’s social welfare officer to submit a justification for including ineligible beneficiaries of the SAP.
They also recommended to the Municipal Government to demand a refund from the ineligible individuals who received the SAP aid.
The SAP was a financial assistance program of the National Government. Its sole purpose was to help individuals and families who were greatly affected when the Covid-19 pandemic began last year.
Eligible SAP beneficiaries were entitled to receive P6,000 from the national government as assistance.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Omnibus Guidelines on the implementation of the Emergency Subsidy Program excluded, among others, elected and appointed government officials, whether permanent, contractual, casual or coterminous status, from receiving the SAP.
In their report, state auditors said that based on a post-audit conducted of disbursement vouchers, the Minglanilla Municipal Government failed to submit a liquidation of the SAP.
As a result, the state auditors decided to conduct alternative audit procedures, particularly auditing the list of paid SAP beneficiaries provided by the town’s municipal social welfare officer.
This was how they discovered the discrepancies.
Jay Hernandez, the town’s public information officer, told SunStar Cebu that they can’t issue a statement as they have yet to receive the report even though the state auditors have published the report on the COA’s official website.
However, in its management comment included in the COA report, the Minglanilla Municipal Government informed the state auditors that it would revisit the paid beneficiaries and demand a refund “in case they are not qualified.” (JKV)