COA temporarily relaxes rules on donations during coronavirus pandemic
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Audit (COA) is temporarily relaxing its rules on donations, both in cash and in kind, to speed up distribution to those in need as the coronavirus pandemic has brought the economy to a halt.
Under COA Circular No. 2020-009 dated April 21, COA is allowing the use of electronic receipts, in the absence of official receipts, provided that important information such as date, name of donor, reference number, and the nature and amount of the donation are stated.
If the donation is coursed through electronic wallets, the documentation requirement is the transaction reference number. A bank statement or a credit memo can likewise be used for donations deposited to an agency's bank account.
The commission also put on hold the sorting, recording, and inventory of donated relief goods while the lockdown is in place. Only the remaining goods would have to be recorded after the lockdown.
Agencies are now only required to submit a one-time report, instead of monthly reports. This should be submitted to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and COA within 10 days after the lifting of the lockdown.
National government agencies, upon the direction of President Rodrigo Duterte, can also let local government units (LGUs) distribute relief goods.
"The goods need not be released by the agency directly to the intended beneficiaries, but it may be done through the LGUs, particularly if the concerned agencies lack the resources or facilities to do so," COA said.
With these measures, the commission said it aims to help the government in its efforts to provide basic necessities to Filipinos.
But COA clarified that this does not mean basic controls will be disregarded.
It encouraged government agencies to implement an electronic tracking platform that will be able to generate the audit trail, including the recording, monitoring, and utilization of donations.
As of Sunday, the Philippines has 7,579 coronavirus cases, with 501 deaths and 862 recoveries.
Metro Manila and several high-risk areas in Luzon remain under enhanced community quarantine until May 15. Moderate-risk and low-risk areas, meanwhile, will follow general community quarantine guidelines. – Rappler.com