COA’s audit report on OVP’s budget: Underspent and with Excessive Travel Expenses - News Spy

COA’s audit report on OVP’s budget: Underspent and with Excessive Travel Expenses

COA’s audit report on OVP’s Budget: Underspent and with Excessive Travel Expenses
The office of Vice President Leni Robredo spent only P130.7 million- 59.41% of its P220 million budget for financial assistance to indigent Filipinos in 2016 based on the Commission on Audit (COA).

COA said Robredo’s office showed poor absorptive capacity, resulting in underspending that led to “undelivered services that could have benefited more indigents/underprivileged Filipinos.” COA also stated that low absorptive capacity was not unique to the OVP, as “utilization of appropriated financial resources is quite a concern for national government agencies.”

There were 10,892 beneficiaries who benefited from the OVP’s Public Assistance Division (PAD) giving medical and burial assistance to the people, however, COA said the OVP’s underspending meant that many people had missed out on financial aid.

“Had the balance of P89,269,117.24 been utilized for medical assistance, using the maximum amount of P25,000 per request, OVP could have already assisted or sent at least 3,500 cancer patients to chemotherapy sessions or in the case of the minimum P3,000 burial services, OVP could have supported additional 29,000 burials,” said the audit agency.

PAD employees replied the auditors that certain conditions hindered the realization of its program, including problems in completing technical requirements such as having to pay through banks, shortage in manpower. In addition to this, the OVP was only able to cater to the applications inside Metro Manila, because there were no PAD offices outside the metro.

COA auditors also noted the OVP’s failure to comply with audit requirements, including unliquidated cash advances and excessive meal allowances during official trips. There’s also a pending Cash advance amounting to P185,826.74 which were not yet liquidated with n the prescribed period contrary to COA regulations.

Another cash advance used for foreign trips amounting to P73,484.08 was not yet settled as of December 31, 2016.

Last January 19, a demand letter was sent to the officer to settle the pending cash advance; “however, no response has been received from her,” the audit report added.

COA also reported some officials and employees who claimed excessive meal expenses while on official business amounting to P103,844 in excess of the allowed daily travel allowance of P800. The auditors also cited that the OVP failed to submit all financial documents and reports, which was delayed for 68 working days, contrary to COA regulations.

Source: Inquirer