Transparency in DSWD projects and programs | Inquirer Opinion

Transparency in DSWD projects and programs

/ 12:50 AM September 20, 2014

This refers to false and misleading information in the article titled “Unliquidated CCT funds: Philpost can’t account for P5B—COA” (News, 9/3/14) by Gil Cabacungan.

According to the documents submitted to us by the Land Bank of the Philippines, it is only P1.6 billion, accumulated from 2012 to 2014, which has yet to be fully liquidated by the Philippine Postal Corp. (Philpost), and not P5 billion.

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Furthermore, to say that the amount is “lost,” as stated in the headline of the online version of the article, is a misrepresentation of the fact. Philpost is currently in the process of liquidating the said amount. The accounting is ongoing. As such, it cannot be said that the money is lost.

The following are the statements I would like to point out regarding Cabacungan’s article:

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First that “[t]he DSWD has long been criticized for getting massive funding increases for its CCT program in the past four years despite its sorely limited capacity (emphasis mine) to deploy such huge amounts to millions of beneficiaries.”

The use of the term “sorely limited capacity” is an unfair and baseless judgment that more aptly belongs to an opinion column rather than a news item.

Second, he said that “a memorandum of agreement between the DSWD and Philpost on the CCT distribution exempted Philpost and the Land Bank from any liabilities arising from loss or damage in the course of their duty.”

To clarify, there is no MOA between the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Philpost. The postal agency was contracted by Land Bank, and not by us. As such, the agreements are between Land Bank and Philpost.

Moreover, Land Bank and Philpost are not exempt from any liabilities. The nonliability clause in the MOA he is probably referring to is the usual general provision in MOAs, which only pertains to liabilities to third parties. Hence, both Land Bank and Philpost are not free from any liability attributable to their fault or negligence.

“Balanced news, fearless views” is your publication’s dictum. Unfortunately, I did not see any form of “balance” in this article.

The timing of the article is unfortunate because it is budget-hearing time in the legislative branch. Printing an article that misleads the public in general and the legislative in particular is a disservice to the dictum of balanced news and fearless views. Moreover, it destroys reputations and causes undue stress to the DSWD work force.

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Above our commitment to provide public service with utmost dignity and integrity, we in the department remain to be transparent about our projects and programs.

—CORAZON JULIANO-SOLIMAN,

secretary,

Department of Social Welfare and Development

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TAGS: CCT, Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, DSWD, Gil Cabacungan, Letters to the Editor, opinion, PhilPost, transparency
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