P50M antidrug funds from 2010 to 2013 unaccounted for — COA
MANILA, Philippines — About P50 million in antidrug funds released from 2010 to 2013 have not been liquidated, a Commission on Audit (COA) report shows.
The unaccounted funds totaling P49,218,561.36 comprised money that the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) released to other government offices and non-government organizations (NGOs) for antidrug-related projects.
According to the COA audit report released on May 23, the funds were 83 percent of the amount which the DDB distributed to national government agencies (NGA), local government units (LGUs), and government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs).
Before 2010, the COA noted P1,208,165.85 that was not liquidated, bringing the total unaccounted funds from 2013 back to before 2010 to P50,427,527.21.
“Eighty-five percent or P50,427,527.21 of the P59,491,577.34 inter-agency receivables were aged more than five years caused by the non-enforcement of the provisions of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between DDB and the implementing agencies and COA Circular Nos. 94-013 and 2007-001 dated December 13, 1994 and October 25, 2007, respectively,” COA said.
Tables from COA showed that most of the still unliquidated funds were given to NGA, with P46.05 million in accounts aged over five years, and P831,946 in accounts over ten years. This was followed by funds appropriated to LGUs, or P3.164 million (over five years) and P166,348 (over ten years).
Unliquidated funds from more than 10 years ago as given to NGOs amounted to P210,670.
Most of these funds were intended for the maintenance of drug treatment and rehabilitation centers, establishment of new facilities, operation of existing centers, and the purchase of supplies.
COA said that the problems stemmed after implementing agencies (IA) did not indicate the timeframe of the project, only stating that the liquidation reports would be released 60 days after the whole fund were utilized.
The commission used DDB’s memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Department of Health (DOH) office in Cagayan De Oro as an example. At least P6.5 million was released by DDB for the rehabilitation of Bukidnon’s Drug Abuse and Rehabilitation Center — without specifying the timeframe of the project.
“The ambiguity of the MOA will result in the utilization of the fund at the leisure of the recipient and the piling/accumulation of fund transfer balances of DDB,” COA explained.
COA said it talked with DDB’s management, and it supposedly agreed to regularly send demand letters to IAs and to monitor the status of the projects. Aside from this, COA also urged DDB, which is under the Office of the President, to include the project timeframe in succeeding MOAs.
“We recommended and Management agreed to […] require the Chief Accountant to maintain complete and updated subsidiary ledgers; and require the Monitoring Team to regularly monitor the status of the projects and submission by the IAs of their liquidation reports, document the dormant accounts for subsequent request for authority to write-off to COA,” COA added. (Editor: Cenon B. Bibe Jr.)
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