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Scholarship anomalies cited

06 August 2017

The Commission on Audit (COA) has found anomalies in the various student scholarship and financial assistance programs implemented by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) funded with billions of pesos by the government.

Among the inefficiencies noted by the audit body were the payments of scholarship or financial assistance to the same students twice in a semester, payments to scholars who were not enrolled in the priority courses earlier identified by CHED and
payments to scholars with failing grades.

In its annual audit report recently published on its website, the COA said the efficient implementation of CHED’s Student Financial Assistance Programs or StuFAPs “was disturbed by the deviations from the established criteria” set under CHED Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 13 series of 2014 as amended by CMO No. 44 series of 2016.

The COA also noted the release of scholarship funds to the CHED Regional Offices  despite the lack of supporting documents and the delay in the processing of the scholars’ claims resulting in the expiration of the checks.

The audit team found that 203 grantees in six CHEDROs were given “either two types of scholarship/financial assistance or paid twice for the same type of scholarship in a semester” totaling P1.471 million.

The erring CHEDROs identified by COA were Region 1 (Ilocos Region), Region 2 (Cagayan Valley), Region 4-B (MIMAROPA), Region 8 (Eastern Visayas), Region 10 (Northern Mindanao) and Region 12 (SOCCSKSARGEN).

The COA further put CHED to task for the payment of scholarship benefits totaling P2.570 million to unqualified students.

The audit body said P133,500 of the amount was paid to scholars with failing grades while P1.520 million were paid to those who were not enrolled in the priority courses identified by CHED itself.

Also, a total of P22,500 were paid to scholars who transferred to a higher educational institution (HEI) or academic program without prior approval from their respective CHEDROs while P342,000 was paid to students whose names do not appear in the billing statement submitted by the HEIs.

The COA recommended the refund of the excess/double-payments to the unqualified scholars and to require the concerned HEIs to liquidated the funds transferred to them.

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