Ever since the Philippine Development Assistance Fund scam came to light, it has become more important for NGOs to be accredited. Accreditation ensures that the NGOs meet nationally recommended standards and provides a formal process for ongoing evaluation. It also sees to it that there is public accountability, wherein it is responsible for achieving what it sets out to do.
The accrediting body in the country is the Philippine Council for NGO Certification. The PCNC certifies local nonprofits or NGOs that comply with government requirements. They make sure that organizations strive for transparency, especially since most of them receive donations from individuals and corporations.
Q: Are NGOs required to be accredited/certified?
An NGO with SEC registration can still operate without being accredited. However, while some organizations do not need to apply for accreditation (e.g. sports clubs, transport drivers’ organizations, vendors’ associations), other NGOs are highly recommended to be accredited.
It is also worth noting that with the recent PDAF scam, the PCNC has become more strict in making sure that the NGOs that they accredit are legitimate.
Q: What do I need to be accredited?
To apply for accreditation, your organization has to be:
1. A non-stock, non-profit domestic corporation*, or association, organized under Philippine laws
2. Operated exclusively for religious, scientific, cultural, educational, or social welfare purposes, youth and sports development, or for the rehabilitation of veterans
3. Formally operating for at least one (1) year
*Definition of a “non-stock, non-profit corporation or organization” is based on the BIR Revenue Regulations No. 13-98.
Q: How can I apply for accreditation?
The accreditation process goes like this:
1. The organization inquires with PCNC for the requirements.
2. PCNC sends the following forms to be filled-up by the applicant NGO: (a) letter of intent (1 copy) and (b) an application for Accreditation for Donee Institution Status and checklist of requirements (1 copy).
3. The applicant NGO submits the Letter of Intent and Application Form together with their latest Audited Financial Statement and the initial payment of Php 1,000.00.
4. PCNC sends applicant NGO a survey form to be accomplished in four (4) copies.
5. The applicant NGO submits the survey form with complete attachments, and the balance of the application fee according to the socialized fee scheme based on Total Assets, as follows:
A. Organizations with total assets of Php5M and below – Php 10,000
B. Organizations with total assets from Php5M – Php15M – Php 15,000
C. Organizations with total assets from Php15M – Php50M – Php 15,000
D. Organizations with total assets above Php50M – Php 15,000
6. The secretariat forms the evaluation team line-up.
7. The evaluators confirm their availability; PCNC secretariat makes arrangements for the visit.
8. The evaluation team conducts the evaluation visit.
9. The PCNC Board deliberates on the evaluation team’s recommendation.
10. NGO is then notified on the PCNC Board’s decision.
11. For certified NGO, the PCNC Secretariat submits certification results to the BIR.
12. The BIR issues Certificate of Donee Institution Status to NGO.
*Applicants are given 1 (one) year to complete the application process (submission of all required documents & payment of Balance of application fee); otherwise, their down payment of 1,000.00 will be forfeited.
Q: What happens during the evaluation visit?
The evaluation visit is usually done within a span of two (2) days.
DAY ONE. First, the evaluators hold an orientation to introduce the team members, give a review of the PCNC process, establish the timetable, etc.
After the evaluators’ orientation meeting, the applicant NGO gives a brief overview of the organization. Then, the team conducts evaluation activities during the two (2) days such as:
(a) review of documents
(b) interview of staff, board members, officers, beneficiaries, and others requested by the evaluators in the interview schedule
(c) visit to project sites as coordinated with the point person
(d) other activities deemed necessary by the evaluators
The evaluators hold a wrap-up session among themselves to discuss their findings and recommendation. They submit this to the PCNC Board for deliberation and approval.
Q: How long is the PCNC Certification good for?
An NGO may get a 1, 3 or 5-year certification, depending on the organization’s years of existence and ratings from the evaluation. When the certification expires, the NGO needs to apply for renewal.
Q: Where is the PCNC office located?
The PCNC office is located at: 6th Floor SCC Building, CFA – MA Compound, 4427 Interior Old Sta. Mesa, 1016 Manila.
Source: Most of the content was compiled here for information purposes from the PCNC official website (www.pcnc.com.ph).