DSWD mulls suing 2 CSOs, NGOs-A A +A
By Bobby Lagsa
Friday, September 20, 2013
THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Northern Mindanao on Wednesday shied away from the controversial Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) from congressmen in the region saying that it has not received any funding from PDAF sourced assistance and that it is considering filing cases against two civil society organizations and two non-governmental organizations for failure to liquidate their projects.
Moreno Fernandez, former chief of standards unit head of the institutional development division of DSWD-Northern Mindanao, said that they have been monitoring the compliance of their partner non-governmental organizations (NGO) in the delivery of services.
Fernandez said that NGOs had been accredited right from the beginning of their engagements and went through rigid processes.
“What we did was engaged them right from the start, from accreditations to implementations to post audit program,” Fernandez said.
Fernandez added that the department’s project implementation partner NGOs are also required to submit their Securities and Exchange Commission’s registration, among other legal documents to ensure their legality and weed out the bogus NGOs.
In recent months following the Janet Lim-Napoles’ P10 billion PDAF scam, NGOs have been put to the spotlight as Napoles owned several NGOs that are bogus and non-existent corporations siphoning government money.
However, Fernandez said that the department is utilizing all avenues in urging all NGOs engaged in project delivery to liquidate its spending with the department.
Fernandez added that a communiqué has been sent to all that have pending and unliquidated projects including the Rotary Club North and Rotary Club East, both in Cagayan de Oro City.
The rotary allegedly failed to liquidate P200 thousand for its project implementation on swine dispersal (North) and metal furniture (East).
Fernandez said the liquidation has been long overdue. The project was funded through the PDAF of former Representative Constantino Jaraula.
Jaraula was elected into congress in 2001 up to 2007, for two consecutive terms.
Jaraula was implicated in the malversation of public fund filed by the Department of Justice in connection with the Napoles’ scam.
Jaraula however denied any hands or relation to the Napoles scam, citing politics as the motives behind it.
Another organization who failed to liquidate their expenses is the Philippine Service of Mercy Foundation (PSMF).
Jordan Ian Apat, former executive director of PSMF said that they are working on the compliance with DSWD.
Apat said that they got the project with 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez.
Apat assured that they have conducted the training and assistance for the persons with disability project.
“We are working on our compliance and liquidation for the DSWD,” Apat said.
No PDAF funded program
DSWD Assistant Regional Director for Operations Aldersey Mumar-de la Cruz denied that the department has partnered with elected congressmen in the region for funding projects using the PDAF of congressmen.
However, reports from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) showed that the regional office has received at least P5,150,000 million from Benjo Benaldo, Rufus Rodriguez, Yevgeny Emano, and Jorge Almonte of the first district Misamis Occidental.
This figure is for 2011 alone, it does not include the amount downloaded from the region’s congressmen to the DSWD national office amounting to P1,850,000.
Most of the downloaded fund was used for the department’s Comprehensive Integrated Delivery of Social Services (CIDSS) for their respective districts.
In 2013, the DSWD regional office received P6 million from the representatives Rodriguez, Benaldo, and Emano.
In 2012, the regional office received P10,200,000 million from congressmen across the region.
Records at the DBM stretched from 2009 until at present.
However, de la Cruz said that it could be that the fund were transferred directly to organizations who sought partnership with congressmen, but the records of DBM clearly showed that the funds were downloaded to the regional office for the implementation of the CIDSS program.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 20, 2013.