COA: Office of VP Binay has P102M unliquidated fund transfers
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Office of Vice President (OVP) Jejomar Binay has unliquidated fund transfers to various government offices worth P102 million, some dating back to 2012, the Commission on Audit (COA) revealed.
A 2014 COA report released Wednesday, December 16, said the OVP has not liquidated fund transfers it made to several national government agencies (NGAs) amounting to P84.733 million, and the Makati city government worth P17.625 million.
The COA also discovered that P95.09 million of the unliquidated amount was sourced from its Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in 2012 and 2013.
“Audit of the 'due from NGAs' account as of December 31, 2014, showed a balance of P84,733,276.12, which remained unliquidated from one to more than two years. Fund transfers to local government units of P17,624,716 (also) remained unliquidated contrary to COA Circular No. 94-013,” state auditors said.
The OVP’s unliquidated cash transfers to NGAs include P9.46 million to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on March 13, 2013, and P50 million to the same agency on June 17, 2013.
The OVP also gave P18 million to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on December 21, 2012.
Funds transferred to the DPWH and CHED came from the PDAF, which was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2013.
The OVP has not liquidated the P1 million it each gave to the Philippine Children’s Medical Center, Davao Regional Hospital, and Southern Philippine Medical Center in the first quarter of 2013.
It released P500,000 each to the Far North Luzon General Hospital and Training Center, La Union Medical Center, Buluan District Hospital, Conner District Hospital, and the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center – all unliquidated.
Fund allocation for Makati City
State auditors said that on November 23, 2012, the OVP transferred P32 million to the the city government of Makati, where Binay was mayor for 21 years.
The fund was allocated for the Vice President’s PDAF projects for the Social Services, Health, and Livelihood-Training Program, which the Department of Budget and Management considered as a "soft project."
Of the P32 million, the Makati city government used P9.72 million to pay supplier Dane Degala-Castillo Pharmacy for various medical equipment to be used by Makati Social Welfare Department on December 23, 2013.
An amount of P7.026 million was paid to Classera Enterprises on January 6, 2014, for the procurement of “sewing machines and other materials” under the OVP’s Livelihood Program to be implemented by the Office of the Makati City Mayor.
The sewing machines did not reach the beneficiaries, COA said.
“The Resident Auditor of the City Government of Makati revealed that the sewing machines purchased from the said fund were not yet distributed to intended beneficiaries. As of this date, no liquidation reports have been submitted to OVP by the recipient LGUs contrary to COA Circular No. 94-013," said the COA.
MPL Trading also received P879,550 on August 7, 2013, as payment for food items intended for victims of Typhoon Habagat that month.
These figures amount to a total of P17.625 million, which the OVP is yet to liquidate.
The remaining P14.375 million of the fund transferred to Makati was refunded to the Bureau of Treasury, after the COA reminded the city government to stop spending unused PDAF.
“We recommended that Management enforce and monitor the liquidation of the fund transfers and strictly adhere to the provisions of COA Circular No. 94-013,” state auditors said.
In a statement on Saturday, December 19, the OVP said that it had clarified the COA observations in its audit report as early as June this year.
It said that the suppliers were chosen because of their "good record in completing deliveries of relief goods" and that "its main concern was ensuring the quick delivery of relief goods to calamity victims."
"We were more concerned about the timely delivery and availability of the goods in the calamity areas without prejudice to pricing which is advantageous to the government," Assistant Secretary Rosalie Licauco said in a letter to State Auditor Marife Tubana dated June 22.
Licauco added that the OVP will submit other needed information for post-audit purposes at the soonest possible time. – Rappler.com