CoA questions OVP’s P12M tab for car repairsBy TJ Burgonio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The Office of the Vice President (OVP) spent close to P12 million for the repair of outmoded motor vehicles for the past five years that otherwise could have been used to buy 10 new vehicles, the Commission on Audit (CoA) said.
The CoA, in its 2011 report, said the OVP spent P11.9 million from 2007 to 2011 for the major repairs of 16 vehicles, or an average of P2.4 million a year, in violation of the government’s auditing and accounting rules.
It noted that the vehicles were 14 to 17 years old, or more than double their useful economic life of seven years.
“Although there was a provision for repairs, it was no longer practicable for the outmoded vehicles to be subjected to further repairs because it would be very costly, as seen in the past five years,” CoA said.
The cost of repairs was equivalent of at least 10 brand-new vehicles, it said.
The expenses were broken down into P1.2 million in 2011; P1.6 million in 2010; P2.8 million in 2009; P4 million in 2008; and P2.1 million in 2007.
According to CoA, the OVP explained that two of the old, unserviceable vehicles, worth more than P800,000, had been transferred to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) for training purposes.
The CoA recommended that OVP dispose of the outmoded vehicles to lessen expenses on repairs and maintenance, and the latter agreed.
“We also recommended to the management to make representations with the Office of the President and the DBM [Department of Budget and Management] for funding to purchase new vehicles necessary for mobility, security back-up and efficient discharge of the vital functions of the OVP,” it said.
CoA also noted that the OVP had P5.6 million in unsettled disallowances as of December 2011. The disallowances were due to the overpayment of salaries, terminal leave, cost of living allowance, among others.
The OVP explained that the liable employees used to be connected with the defunct Office of the Prime Minister (during the Marcos administration), and the vice presidency of Salvador Laurel. It had earlier requested to write off the accounts, but this was denied by the CoA in December 2011. It would continue to verify its records to determine the course of action to be taken.
The CoA, however, observed that the OVP promptly remitted P4.1 million in withheld taxes to the Bureau of Internal Revenue.