PDEA denies reports about agency’s alleged P74-M travel expenses
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has denied reports that the agency has accumulated P74-million worth of local travel expenses in 2018.
Rather, PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino clarified on Friday that the Commission on Audit (COA) report only puts their travel expenses at P22.45 million, and not at P74 million.
“I would like to clarify, for it will bring misconception to the public that public funds were being used in violation of the existing rules of the Commission on Audit,” Aquino said in a statement.
On Thursday, several online news sites including INQUIRER.net published a story about COA’s audit report of PDEA for 2018, bearing the “P74 million” figure in the headline and the story itself. This was about PDEA’s supposedly P74.28-million worth of local travel expenses flagged for not having supporting documents.
The number was derived from COA’s statements, which said P9.128-million disbursements and P13.32-million liquidations had incomplete supporting documents, while 101 disbursement vouchers (DVs) amounting to P51.83 million did not have official receipts.
The total of these transactions amounts to P74.28 million. However, COA did not indicate whether the P51.83 million were also travel expenses, or a different form of expenditure.
Aquino suggests that news outfits may have misquoted COA’s observations, claiming that the P51.83 million also flagged by COA was used to purchase supplies and payables that PDEA paid through the List of Due and Demandable Accounts Payable (LDDAP), a form of payment scheme required by COA.
He also said that the 101 DVs were unsupported because their suppliers did not issue receipts. Still, he assured the public that PDEA is complying with COA’s guidelines, and has been in communication with the suppliers to immediately release the receipts.
“We are adhering to all COA rules and regulations, however, pagkabayad naming sa suppliers thru bank deposits, hindi na sila nagbibigay ng official receipts,” Aquino said. (Editor: Jonathan P. Vicente)
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