The National Anti-Poverty Commission and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. have agreed to lift a P49-million unused fund flagged by the Commission on Audit.
NAPC Secretary Noel Felongco and Pagcor director Andrea Domingo Monday inked a memorandum of agreement to lift the ban of the P49-million anti-poverty disbursement fund.
The arrangement has officially lifted the disbursement suspension on the P48-million fund assistance from Pagcor received on April 5, 2017 during the term of ex-NAPC secretary Liza Maza.
President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Felongco to replace Maza in November 2018.
Felongco earlier said the fund could go a long way to help poor beneficiaries.
After receiving the fund from Pagcor, Maza issued a memorandum order directing the temporary ban of further disbursements involving transaction chargeable against Pagcor funds effective December 2017 as directed by Pagcor itself.
The unutilized fund was intended to improve access to free education in Mindanao; sustain livelihood projects through rice milling and marketing facilities in Luzon and Mindanao; implement the integrated coconut livelihood enterprise development in the Visayas, and roll out the “Talambayan” open data solution for poverty monitoring, including data warehousing, upgrading and maintenance of information database.
In a 2018 audit report, COA called the attention of NAPC, citing the P49-million fund had remained idle since its transfer to NAPC in April 2017.
Pagcor originally gave NAPC over P50 million but only P969,479.50 was used.
The projects should have been implemented throughout a two-year timetable.
State auditors said project implementation lapsed on April 4 this year.
In its recommendation, COA told both agencies to extend the validity of their original agreement to properly use the P49-million fund.