THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Northern Mindanao is demanding an answer from the Cagayan de Oro City Government for failing to liquidate a total amount worth P3.121 million supposedly allocated for the senior citizen's social pension fund.
In a letter sent to Mayor Oscar Moreno, the DSWD said it is "saddened" that the local government unit of Cagayan de Oro has still an unliquidated balance of P330,000 for Calendar Year 2016, and P2.791 million out of the P9.070 million transferred for the 1st and 2nd quarter of 2017.
The DSWD-Northern Mindanao said that per memorandum circular no. 17, the submission of liquidation reports and documents and refund balance to DSWD Field Office should be on or before the 15th day of the 2nd month of every quarter.
"The Office is saddened with the non-compliance of the LGU in its commitment to deliver timely service to the senior citizens most especially so that the Department has a standing order not to pay the senior citizens who died prior to the scheduled payout," says the letter signed by Mandel Borres, the DSWD-10 assistant regional director.
"The delay in the payout of stipend to the poor senior citizens is always to their disadvantage," it added.
Councilor Nadya Emano-Elipe, who disclosed the matter in her special report at the City Council, on Monday said the remaining unliquidated balance during the 1st and 2nd quarter of this year has about 3,011 senior citizens in the city who haven't received their pension for the 3rd quarter.
"The government is always like that, kung naay marelease nga kwarta, dapat maliquidate kay answerable baya ka ana, because you are dealing with government funds," Elipe said.
"Dapat iliquidate na siya, dili para sa amo, not for the benefit of the city government, but para sa mga senior citizens na atong beneficiaries, luoy man pud sila, dako na ang 500, dako na ug maabtan sa kung unsay ilang panginahanglan," she added.
With the social pension program, every senior citizen in the city would receive P5,000 a month.
The DSWD said they are "anticipating prompt action on the matter by the focal person of CSWD".
A committee hearing, jointly conducted by the committees on social service and senior citizens, will be set to seek explanation from the concerned departments of the city government.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 19, 2017.